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Alaska Airlines Continues Fleet Modernization With the Addition of 13 New Boeing 737 MAX 9 Aircraft

The carrier has leased 13 new Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft as they continue to optimize their fleet. As part of the agreement, Alaska will sell 10 Airbus A320s to Air Lease Corporation and subsequently lease the new aircraft for delivery from Q4 2021 through 2022.

Alaska Airlines Leases 13 New Boeing 737 MAX 9s (737 NG shown) - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

Today (November 23, 2020), Alaska Airlines announced a further fleet modernization with the addition of 13 new leased Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. As part of their agreement with Air Lease Corporation (ALC), the carrier will sell 10 Airbus A320s and subsequently replace them with the new MAX aircraft for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2022. Alaska Airlines will temporarily lease the A320s back from ALC for a short period after the transaction closes. In Monday’s announcement, Air Lease Corporation’s Executive Chairman, Steven F. Udvar-Házy, said,

“We are honored and pleased to renew our long association and partnership with our friends at Alaska Airlines. These leased Boeing 737-9 aircraft from ALC will fill an important role on Alaska's diverse route network, bringing the most technologically advanced and environmentally attractive aircraft type into Alaska's fleet, just in time as we expect the airline industry will undergo a sustainable recovery starting in 2021.”

Also commenting on the new lease arrangement, Alaska Air Group’s Chairman and CEO, Glen Tilden added,

“Alaska's relationship with Steve dates back to the early 1980s and we're thrilled to work with him and ALC on an agreement that will enhance our fleet and advance our environmental, operational and financial performance. We found an opportunity to sell 10 planes that are not in our long-term plans and replace them with 13 of the most efficient narrow-body aircraft available.”

Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft provide a 20 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions compared to the Airbus A320s they will replace. The MAX 9s also offer a range increase of 600 miles versus the A320 and will allow Alaska to open additional nonstop routes and new destinations. The 13 leased aircraft are in addition to the 32 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that Alaska currently has on order. The company expects to take delivery of five more of the game-changing aircraft by summer 2021, though the aircraft type will return to revenue service at Alaska in March 2021. Alaska Airlines permanently parked all of their A319s and some A320s last summer and with the closing of today’s deal, the carrier will have 39 A320s and 10 A321neos in their mostly Boeing fleet.

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. The carrier has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage and is known for low fares, excellent service and sustainability efforts. The award-winning airline serves over 47 million guests annually and has been named “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power for the last 12 years. 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).

Source: Alaska Airlines


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