• Joe Breitfeller

Alaska Airlines Announces Restructured Agreement With Boeing, Will Acquire up to 120 737 MAX Jets

As part of the new agreement, Alaska Airlines will add 23 orders and 15 options to their existing 737 MAX order, bringing the total to 68 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft with an option for an additional 52 planes.


A small signing ceremony between Alaska and Boeing executives was held on Friday, Dec. 18, at the Boeing Delivery Center in Seattle. Social distancing protocols were in place. - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

On Tuesday (December 22, 2020), Alaska Airlines announced the restructuring of their agreement with Boeing to acquire a total of 68 Boeing 737-9 aircraft with an option to acquire another 52 planes. The new agreement increases the carrier’s existing MAX order by 23 aircraft and 15 options. Alaska Airlines is expected to receive 13 planes in 2021, 30 in 2022, 13 in 2023 and 12 in 2024. The new MAX aircraft will largely replace Alaska Airlines’ Airbus A319/320 fleet which was inherited through the acquisition of Virgin America. The restructured agreement with Boeing follows the airline’s announcement last month that they would lease 13 new 737-9 MAX aircraft, and signifies the move to a single mainline all-Boeing fleet, that is more efficient profitable and environmentally friendly. Additionally, the deal allows two major Pacific Northwest employers (Alaska and Boeing) to continue to support and revive jobs in the region as the nation recovers from the pandemic.


Alaska Airlines' Restructures Boeing 737 MAX Orders and Options - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

In Tuesday’s announcement, Alaska Air Group’s CEO, Brad Tilden, said,


“We are extremely proud to be announcing this transformative agreement with Boeing. We believe in this airplane, we believe in our strong partnership with Boeing, and we believe in the future of Alaska Airlines and the incredible opportunities ahead as we climb our way out of this pandemic. We could not ask for a better partner than Boeing and we are delighted to be standing side by side with them as we work together to get our economy back on its feet.”


Also commenting on the restructured 737 MAX agreement, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO, Stan Deal, added,


“Alaska Airlines has done a tremendous job of weathering the impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic and is well positioned to return to its growth trajectory and strengthen its standing as one of the top U.S. airlines. With Alaska's industry-leading reputation for safety, sustainability and customer service, we are honored that the airline has chosen to invest in its future with a significant purchase of additional Boeing 737 airplanes. We are grateful for Alaska's trust and partnership. Our team is focused on delivering their first 737 MAX jets and helping ensure a safe and seamless entry into service.”


The restructured and expanded 737 MAX order will allow Alaska Airlines to exit 61 expensive short-term leases for their Airbus fleet and compared to the A320, the 737-9 MAX offers more seats, 20% better fuel efficiency, 20% lower emissions, reduced maintenance costs and additional range of up to 600 miles. As part of the carrier’s fleet optimization program, Alaska will reduce their Airbus fleet to a total of 10 A321neos by the summer of 2023. Alaska Airlines plans to commence revenue service with the Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft in March 2021, with five additional aircraft expected to start flying by summer 2021.


Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

A separate announcement from Boeing detailed Alaska’s 737-9 MAX configuration. The airline will configure the aircraft with 178 seats in three classes and the airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, which offers sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness, and larger pivoting overhead bins.


Alaska Airlines and their regional partners serve over 115 destinations in the United States and North America, providing essential service for their guests and critical cargo shipments, while emphasizing Next-Level Care. The carrier has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage and is known for low fares, excellent service and sustainability efforts. Along with their Global Partners, Alaska Airlines’ guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 global destinations. On March 31, 2021, Alaska Airlines will become a member of the oneworld global alliance. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of the Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).


Boeing (NYSE:BA) is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading supplier of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, as well as global services. The aerospace giant tops the list of the largest U.S. exporters, providing a significant positive impact to America’s annual GDP. Boeing supports government and commercial customers in over 150 countries and employs more than 160,000 team members worldwide. As Boeing continues to deliver for customers, they are committed to their legacy of aerospace leadership in technology and innovation and will continue investing in their people for future growth.



Source(s): Alaska Airlines, Boeing