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Skift Take

It seems like a no-brainer, but airlines are more obsessive than ever about finding smart ways to cut fuel costs. Even if that means buying second-hand jets from a rival.

— Jason Clampet

Delta Air Lines is now flying the first of dozens of airplanes acquired from competing AirTran Airways.

Atlanta-based Delta began flights with the first twin-engine Boeing 717s purchased from AirTran on Friday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the planes have 110 seats and a single aisle for passengers.

The planes were supposed to begin flying in September, but Delta delayed the launch because of certification issues with the configuration of the aircraft.

Delta struck a deal for 88 of the 717 planes last year with AirTran parent Southwest Airlines. Delta will use them to replace less-efficient, 50-seat regional jets.

The Dallas-based Southwest sold the old AirTran aircraft to maintain an all-Boeing 737 fleet. The transfer is taking place over two years.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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