Alaska Airlines will add 52 more 737 MAX to its fleet over the next five years, the largest single aircraft commitment in its history. The carrier exercised all of the options it held from its landmark December 2020 Boeing order, with deliveries due through 2027. The deal also includes an additional 105 options through 2030.
This investment secures aircraft to optimize our growth through the next decade, which we know will be a formidable competitive advantage.– Ben Minicucci, CEO, Alaska Airlines
The carrier currently operates 35 737-9 aircraft. Another 43 are expected to join the fleet by the end of 2023. At that time Alaska Airlines will also complete its exit from the A320 family fleet it acquired with the Virgin America merger.
The order book remains flexible within the MAX family. The order includes 737-8, 737-9 and 737-10 aircraft, enabling Alaska to optimally match aircraft size and capability with market characteristics. The airline can shoose which model it wants as appropriate.
In announcing the deal Alaska Airlines notes “performance of the 737-9 has exceeded expectations on economics and fuel efficiency, as well as guest satisfaction.” The passenger satisfaction front is fed, in part, by seats from Recaro and 2Ku inflight internet service from Intelsat. On the inflight connectivity front, in particular, lower and fixed pricing also helps.
The revised order book now stands at 146 firm MAX aircraft expected by the end of 2027. With all the options exercised the carrier could exceed 250 MAX in the fleet by the end of the decade.
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