Alaska Airlines has placed its biggest-ever aircraft order, exercising options for 52 Boeing MAX aircraft. Of these, 42 will be MAX 10s and the remaining ten are MAX 9s, Alaska and Boeing announced on October 26. Alaska Airlines grows Boeing MAX fleet by 52.
The aircraft will be delivered from 2024 through 2027 and will grow the confirmed fleet from 94 to 146 MAX. Alaska also negotiated purchase rights for another 105 aircraft through 2030. The carrier currently operates 35 MAX 9s and is in the process of transforming to a single-type 737NG/MAX-only fleet by the end of 2023, when the last Airbus A321neo will have left. By the end of 2023, the MAX fleet should have grown by 43 aircraft to 78.
“This investment secures aircraft to optimize our growth through the next decade, which we know will be a formidable competitive advantage,” said Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci in a media statement.
In March, Alaska amended a previous MAX order for 79 firm and 52 options, or in total 145 aircraft including the fourteen MAX 9s that had been delivered up to then. Until then, the airline had only selected the MAX 9. It changed this to split the 145 aircraft into 70 MAX 9s, 60 MAX 10s, and fifteen MAX 8s. The first -8s will be delivered in the second half of 2023, and the first -10 in early 2024.
Alaska Airlines informs AirInsight that after the latest order, the breakdown of MAX sub-types within the fleet will be: ten MAX 8s (all to be delivered), 88 MAX 9s (53 to be delivered), and 48 MAX 10s (all to be delivered). “All 105 additional delivery positions are designated as 737-10s. We retain the flexibility to substitute to other 737 MAX models with sufficient notice.”
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.