Alaska Airlines announced an order for 52 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, plus options for a further 105 planes of the type from the US plane manufacturer.
The move, which was announced by the airline on October 26, 2022, represents Alaska Airlines’ largest Boeing order in its 90-year operating history. Under the terms of the deal, 52 Boeing 737 MAX planes are due to join the air carrier’s fleet between 2024 and 2027.
The order includes MAX 8, MAX 9, and MAX 10 variants, and Alaska said it has “full flexibility” to shift between the different models to adjust to market demand.
“The flexibility built into the agreement allows us to match our deliveries with economic conditions while saving our place in the production line,” the statement said.
The rights for 105 additional aircraft will give Alaska access to sufficient aircraft for fleet replacement and growth.
“This investment secures aircraft to optimize our growth through the next decade, which we know will be a formidable competitive advantage,” Alaska Airlines chief executive Ben Minicucci said.
According to Planespotters.com data, Alaska currently operates a mixed fleet consisting of 330 aircraft, 201 of which are built by Boeing. As for the 737 MAX fleet, the carrier currently flies 35 MAX 9 planes and expects to receive delivery of another 43 MAXs by the end of 2023.
“At which point, we will once again operate a mainline fleet solely of Boeing aircraft,” Alaska Airlines explained.
Headquartered in SeaTac, the carrier plans to receive a new MAX aircraft approximately every ten days in 2023. It said it aims to operate more than 250 Boeing 737 MAX planes by 2030.