Alaska Airlines is adding 30 mainline and regional aircraft to fulfill capacity needs in the years ahead. The carrier is also launching all-new service to Belize City, Belize, complementing existing West Coast international service to Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.
On Wednesday (May 12, 2021), Alaska Airlines announced major plans for fleet growth and new service to Belize City, Belize. The carrier will add 30 mainline and regional aircraft to fulfill future growth capacity, as the company expects demand to return to pre-pandemic levels by summer 2022. Alaska will add 17 new Embraer E175s to their regional fleet in 2022 and 2023, with nine to be operated by Horizon Air and eight by SkyWest. Additionally, the carrier will exercise options for 13 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, with deliveries in 2023 and 2024.
The 17 additional E175s will grow the Group’s regional fleet to 111 aircraft including 71 at Horizon and 40 at SkyWest. Horizon will receive nine additional E175s in the next two years, with five scheduled for delivery in 2022 and four in 2023. The new aircraft are in addition to three existing firm E175 orders to be operated by Horizon. All eight SkyWest aircraft will enter service for Alaska Airlines in 2022.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Alaska Airlines’ Senior Vice President of fleet, Finance and Alliances, Nat Pieper, said,
“Regional aircraft play a huge role in Alaska's growing network. As our network expands, regional aircraft connect smaller communities to our larger hubs providing critical feed to assist in the development of new markets. We are excited to exercise options for more 737-9s just months after committing to 68 firm deliveries. It's another indication that we're ready for growth.”
Alaska Airlines announced a restructured agreement with Boeing to acquire 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 and 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026. As previously mentioned, the airline will now accept the first 13 options over a period of two years, with nine in 2023 and four in 2024.
In addition to the fleet expansion, Alaska will continue to add new destinations to their route network, including all-new nonstop service to Belize City, Belize from the West Coast. Belize will be the fourth country offered from Alaska’s West Coast hubs, joining existing service to Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. The carrier will announce the routes and schedules to Belize when tickets go on sale in early June.
Commenting on the new service to Belize, Alaska Airlines’ Vice President of Network and Alliances, Brett Catlin, said,
“Our guests are eager for more eco-friendly leisure destinations, especially as they get vaccinated, and we're ready to offer them terrific options. Belize offers an unbeatable mix of sensational beaches, iconic cays and rich heritage.”
Alaska Airlines and their regional partners serve over 120 destinations in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. The sustainability-focused carrier emphasizes Next-Level Care for guests, while offering low fares and award-winning service. Alaska has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage. Along with their Global Partners, Alaska Airlines’ guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 1,000 global destinations. On March 31, 2021, Alaska Airlines became the 14th member of the oneworld global alliance. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of the Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK).
Source: Alaska Airlines