Alaska Airlines has introduced its first Boeing 737-900ER into service.
According to Alaska Airlines, the Boeing 737-900ER carries more passengers, flies farther and is the most fuel-efficient aircraft the carrier operates.
Alaska Airlines has ordered or agreed to lease a total of 38 737-900ERs, to add to its all-Boeing 737 fleet. The carrier is due to receive three more 737-900ERs before the end of this year and a further nine in 2013.
Passengers traveling on Alaska’s new Boeing 737-900ER will notice new, slimmer seating and the aircraft’s Boeing Sky Interior, which features larger sculpted overhead bins and mood lighting designed to provide a more spacious cabin experience.
Alaska Airlines flew a commercial service with its first 737-900ER on November 8 between Seattle and San Diego and is scheduled to take delivery of 38 of the aircraft through 2017.
“Boeing’s Sky Interior and our new custom-designed seats represent the most significant cabin upgrades for Alaska Airlines in more than 20 years and are part of our goal to make flying more comfortable for our customers,” says Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ president and CEO.
“In addition to an improved cabin experience, the 737-900ER has environmental benefits, as well,” adds Tilden. “On a flight between Seattle and Newark, New Jersey, for example, the 737-900ER burns 3 per cent fewer gallons per seat than a 737-900.”
Among the most significant features of Alaska’s newest jet is its new, custom-designed economy class seat. This provides passengers with more space, a six-way adjustable headrest and the carrier’s standard three inches of recline in the main cabin and the new seat is more comfortable than earlier seats, according to the airline.
Made by Recaro Aircraft Seating, the seat includes a slimmer seat back and bottom and a literature pocket located above the tray table.
Alaska’s first class cabin on its 737-900ER features a different premium Recaro seat with five inches of recline, an articulating seat bottom and a six-way adjustable headrest.
Configured with 165 seats in the main cabin and 16 seats in first class, Alaska’s new 737-900ERs will fly transcontinental routes between the west and east coasts and to the Hawaiian Islands, the airline says.
According to Alaska Airlines, the new, lighter seats in its 737-900ERs will save an estimated 8,000 gallons of fuel annually per aircraft.
In Alaska Airlines service, the Boeing 737-900ER has nine more seats than a standard Boeing 737-900. The extra seats are made possible by a flat rather than a curved rear bulkhead and by reducing the size of a main cabin closet.
The 737-900ER is an extended-range version of the Boeing 737-900 and is capable of flying 3,280 statute miles non-stop. The 138-foot-long Boeing 737-900ER has a wingspan of 112 feet and a cruising speed of 530 mph.
Alaska’s first 737-900ER also features a decal near the passenger boarding door honoring veterans and the military. In anticipation of Veteran’s Day, the decal, applied to the airline’s first 737-900ER and to a Bombardier Q400 operated by Alaska’s sister carrier, Horizon Air, was unveiled at an event on November 7.
The airlines also recognized the efforts of Hire America’s Heroes, a Washington-based non-profit organization seeking to connect major corporations with military service members looking for work.
Alaska Airlines has partnered with the organization since 2011 and is expanding its relationship to help expand the program into California next year. To find out more about Hire America’s Heroes, visit at www.hireamericasheroes.org.