People within this forum don't seem to realize that DL now has 57 firm 330/350 commitments, scheduled for delivery within the next seven years. Let's put that into perspective -- collectively, the capacity of the 339 and remaining 350 will be slightly larger than the 763 and 764 currently offers. Think about that, because that's significant given DL is forecasting only 2% annual long-haul growth in the near future.
The same people who were insisting that DL was going to order the 787 because the 350 wasn't performing to expectations... are now insisting that DL is going to order the 787 because 'they can't get widebodies fast enough.' I'd say that 57 widebodies being delivered largely in a six-year period, is close to the fastest pace DL is willing to adsorb them. On paper, once the last plane from these orders is delivered, DL will have 30 B763, B764 and B777A that collectively will average ~25-years-old. Obviously, some aircraft will be retired with longer service times than others, but quite frankly, there's little need for DL to add additional deliveries while these orders play out. And DL chooses to do so, a few extra 339/350 delivery slots (discounted after being cancelled by their original owner) or a few used 330 / 777 seems far more likely than introducing a brand new fleet type (787).
While I agree the 797 is in prime position to win some orders from DL for delivery late next decade, the idea of the 787 joining DL's fleet is just wishful thinking.
Delta wants the 797 to replace the bulk of the 767/757 fleet. Ed Bastian has said that much.
He never said anything close to that. In response to questions surrounding DL's preference for Airbus in recent orders, he said 'we have 200 757 and 767 up for replacement, and the order is Boeing's to lose - if it builds the plane we want, we'll order it.' It's nothing more than PR. Let's be realistic - the replacement orders for most of the 757 and 767 have already been made; a potential DL order for the 797, as a 767 replacement, will be modest.
The ship has not sailed. In fact Ed himself has said himself he sees the 787 in the fleet at some point. Most likely the 78X in my opinion. Next couple of years will be interesting.
Please support your assertion that "Ed himself" said he sees a role for the 787 in DL's fleet. And please don't repeat the tired story of 'he said it at an employee event in front of my friend, who told me, and despite thousands of other DL employees hearing it, none are willing to collaborate it.' You keep saying it... for years... doesn't make it true. It's just silly at this point.