Alaska Airlines has ordered 15 Next-Generation Boeing 737s in a deal which includes 13 737-900ERs and two 737-800s. The 737-900ER is a new model...

Alaska Airlines has ordered 15 Next-Generation Boeing 737s in a deal which includes 13 737-900ERs and two 737-800s.

The 737-900ER is a new model for the Alaska Airlines fleet. Boeing values the contract, which includes exercised options previously placed by Alaska, at $1.3 billion at list prices.

The largest and newest model in the 737 family, the 737-900ER can carry up to 26 more passengers or fly about 500 nautical miles (926 km) farther than the 737-900. Boeing says the longer range of the 737-900ER will connect distant city pairs across continents, such as Seattle to Orlando, in a two-class configuration.

Alaska Airlines' all-Boeing 737 fleet includes 737-900s like this one photographed flying over Seattle, as well as 737-800s, 737-700s and half-freighter, half-passenger 737-400 Combis. The airline uses its 737-400 Combis for flights within Alaska. Alaska Airlines has also ordered 13 737-900ERs, which offer enough longer range than the basic 737-900 to allow transcontinental flights such as Seattle-Orlando

The manufacturer claims the 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 per cent lower operating costs per trip and 4 per cent lower operating costs per seat mile.

Alaska Airlines plans to operate the 737-900ER in a two-class configuration with 178 to 184 seats.

“The reliability and efficiency of our 737 fleet has been a direct contributor to our strong financial performance,” says Brad Tilden, president of Alaska Airlines. “The 737-900ER will be a perfect fit for our transcontinental, high traffic west coast and mid-continental markets and will be the most fuel efficient airplane in our fleet. We look forward to adding the same ‘Proudly All Boeing’ logo to these airplanes that already adorns the rest of our 737 fleet.”

According to Boeing, the Next-Generation 737s will add capability to Alaska Airlines’ fleet of 114 737s currently serving 61 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“Alaska Airlines has established a strong record of operational and financial performance by operating a highly efficient and flexible all-Boeing 737 fleet,” says Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The addition of these Next-Generation 737s demonstrates our hometown partner’s strong investment in its future growth. It also speaks to the continuous improvements we are making to the Next-Generation 737 in terms of efficiency, economics, reliability and passenger comfort.”

The Boeing 737 family is the world’s best-selling commercial airliner. Demand for the Next-Generation 737 has led Boeing to announce two production-rate increases, leading to the highest-ever production rates for the aircraft in 2013.

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