Alaska Airlines is ordering 23 more Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets upsizing its original order.
The U.S. fifth major passenger airline has placed this order less than three weeks after Ryanair confirmed it would be purchasing 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets.
“We are extremely proud to be announcing this transformative agreement with Boeing,” said Brad Tilden, the Alaska Air Group CEO. “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.”
In November, the carrier decided to lease 13 new Boeing 737 MAX 9 in exchange for selling 10 Airbus A320 inherited from the merger with Virgin America. In total, Alaska is now expecting 68 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes as it previously ordered 32, is leasing 13 and has just initiated an order for another 23.
Alaska flies 166 Boeing 737s and 71 Airbus A320-family airplanes but looks to transition to an all Boeing operator. The move will ensure more cost-efficient maintenance procedures, which is crucial for the carrier during the pandemic.
Airlines around the world have been getting Boeing 737 MAX back to service. Brazilian GOL was the first to begin commercial flights, followed by Aeromexico. American and United are going to be the next. Alaska will start flying Boeing 737 MAX in Q1 of 2021.