Alaska Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 17 737 MAX 9s and 13 Boeing 737-900ERs.
Boeing values the aircraft order at more than $5 billion at current list prices and says it is the largest in Alaska Airlines’ history.
Alaska Airlines’ existing and new orders for the Boeing 737-900ER will be delivered starting in late October 2012 and will continue through 2017.
The first 737 MAX 8 is scheduled to enter Alaska’s fleet in 2018 followed by the first 737 MAX 9 in 2019. Alaska is the third U.S. airline to order the 737 MAX, after Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. American Airlines has also committed to ordering 737 MAX jets but has not finalized an order yet.
“This order positions us for growth and ensures that we’ll continue to operate the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft available for the foreseeable future,” says Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ president and CEO. “That means our customers will continue to enjoy a comfortable in-flight experience, low fares and excellent on-time performance.”
Adds Tilden: “We value our longstanding relationship with Boeing and look forward to painting ‘Proudly All Boeing’ on the nose of our aircraft for many, many years into the future.”
The Boeing 737 MAX will be fitted with newly designed CFM International LEAP-1B engines. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see a 13 per cent fuel-use improvement over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft, according to Boeing.
“The 737 MAX will be a great addition to Alaska Airlines’ all-Boeing 737 fleet,” says Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ president and CEO. “It will build on the strong record of operational and financial performance that Alaska Airlines has established with the 737 family. This order demonstrates our hometown airline’s strong commitment to operate the most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes in the market today and in the future.”
Alaska Airlines currently operates 120 Boeing 737s. The new order, plus 25 existing firm delivery positions held by the airline, gives the carrier the flexibility to manage the size of its fleet to meet air travel demand over the next decade.
The Alaska Airlines order brings the total number of Boeing 737 MAX orders to date to 858 aircraft.