Actually no. The burden of proof lies with you, not someone asserting that someone who bought planes intends to use them.
Save for a lessor, that's true basically 100% of the time. So the absence of evidence does not need justification. Your theory does.
The old "burden of proof" diversion. First, I've already supported my argument to call the status quo into question and sent the ball into the other court. Second, the burden of proof here should be with those under a false premise that because DL agreed to purchase the airplanes, it means that they intended to operate them. Obviously that is not the only reason to acquire airplanes, particularly when engaging in an equity stake in a new partner under duress. So what we have here is a belief that has been turned into a pseudo-fact without the external supporting evidence to do so. So let's see your evidence supporting the belief that DL intended to operate them, and let's measure the two sides up.
Delta's original plan was to refresh the interiors (carpet, wall covering, seat covers etc.) on these four "non-standard" A350 aircraft and operate them as a subfleet on South American routes. Obviously that has now changed.
Where was this plan published? Internally?
And you've ignored the most obvious piece of evidence: DL acquires used airplanes frequently, and except for end-of-service-life types for which it sometimes brings in parts birds (inapplicable to the A350), it flies them. You've presented a highly unusual scenario - that an airline would acquire fairly new planes of a type it has in its fleet and...what, resell them? - with nothing but conjecture and circumstance for evidence and then gotten surly with people pointing out that your arguments are built on a foundation of sand. It's not a good look.
Au contraire, since the evidence you present (DL frequently buys used aircraft for operation) can be shifted to support my position. I have a question for you. When was the last used widebody DL purchased and operated? (and also answer it for NW to cover for the fact that people from both airlines could be making these decisions)
DL's fleet planning prior to the LATAM deal is anything but conjecture and circumstance. It's hard evidence for the direction DL was going, and apparently you're choosing to ignore it's implications. The unusual scenario here was the situation involving LATAM. They needed cash. They needed out of excess airplanes. Who knows what conditions were placed in getting a deal done. Considering the result, it's clear that LATAM wanted a buyer for their airplanes. Taking a "normal" aircraft acquisition approach is short-sighted. This was not a "normal" transaction of two parties only dealing in airplanes, so to take past general transaction conclusions as evidence involving a special transaction and specific parties is overly broad. Thinking inside the box about it is a mistake. You know, I find that quite interesting when one of DL's reputations is for thinking outside the box. Often posters laud their unique actions, and then in these cases like this they put DL back into a box. Ironically I'm the one defending DL in that I believe they had a good plan to not operate the airplanes! That's what I think happened based on the evidence, and I haven't seen any strong specific DL/LATAM evidence to call that into serious question. A look doesn't make or break an debate. The facts do. I'll stick to them.
Huh? First you say, "It's a false premise"... then you say, "It may be true, but it may also not be true."
If it is true - an option you admit is in play - then it is not a "false premise". You can't have it both ways.
The "may be true, may not be true" refers to the conclusion. What I'm saying is that DL may indeed have intended to operate these frames. However they may not have intended that. That is the debate. What I pointed out was the false premise that since DL purchased the airplanes, it means they intended to operate them. I hope that is more clear for you.