Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) remains in talks with Boeing concerning a potential B737 MAX order although no deal has yet materialised, chief executive Ed Bastian said during an internal webinar.

"There's certainly a place for [the B737 MAX] if we can figure out how to bring them in," he was quoted by Airline Weekly.

The carrier is the only large mainline US operator with no orders for the newest generation of B737 narrowbodies, even though it has a sizeable fleet of B737NGs, comprising seventy-seven B737-800s and 141 B737-900(ER)s, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. Delta also operates sixty-nine B717-200s, being by far the largest of the three remaining operators of the type globally (besides Hawaiian Airlines and Cobham Aviation Services Australia - Airline Services). Unofficial reports previously indicated Delta could leverage its B717s to secure a better B737 MAX deal from Boeing.

In late 2020, media reports indicated that Boeing had offered Delta a deal for forty white-tail B737 MAX not taken up by other customers.

In terms of its newest-generation narrowbody plans, Delta has a firm order for 155 A321-200Ns with deliveries due to begin in early 2022. However, considering the size of the carrier's current narrowbody fleet (which comprises 235 Airbus aircraft on top of the 218 B737NGs), the existing order book is far too small to renew this segment fully.

Rivals American Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines, as well as LCC Southwest Airlines have ordered and already started operating the B737 MAX.

Bastian told pilots that Delta was scouting the market for opportunities to add more both new and "gently used" aircraft. He indicated the possibility of deals for more A220s or A350s. The carrier currently operates forty-one A220-100s (with four more on order), nine A220-300s (41 on order), and twenty-three A350-900s (with ten more on order from Airbus and two ex-LATAM Airlines Brasil units due to join Delta's fleet).