The Boeing 737MAX continues to be a prominent and significant aircraft within the aviation industry. While some airlines reconsidered their plans in buying the 737MAX, others have decided to spark an agreement with Boeing. As a result, they will purchase the aircraft for their fleet. For instance, today, Alaska Airlines officially reached an agreement to receive 68 737-9 MAX aircraft. Furthermore, they have the choice to add on 52 more aircraft.
“We are extremely proud to be announcing this transformative agreement with Boeing,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. “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.”
The Seattle-based carrier plans to receive 13 aircraft next year, 30 in 2022, 13 in 2023 and 12 in 2024. The new, restructured agreement will also include the airline’s original announcement to lease 13 737-9 aircraft.
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,” Stan Deal, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said. “We are grateful for Alaska’s trust and partnership.”
In October 2012, the carrier initially announced an order for 32 737MAX9s. In November 2020, Alaska Airlines wanted to lease 13. Afterwards, this new order will bring on an additional 23 to bring the grand total to 68 737MAX9s. Finally, for options, the airline initially ordered 37 in October 2012 and will now add on another 15 aircraft.
U.S. Carriers And 737MAX Operations
Alaska Airlines has the opportunity to use the new aircraft for replacing all of its Airbus A319s and A320s. The airline plans to begin revenue service for its 737MAX9, in March 2021. However, they are not the only airline in the U.S. to consider incorporating the 737MAX into its fleet.
American Airlines and Southwest have already decided to return the 737MAX to service. Thus, they have incorporated the aircraft into their schedules, and flights in the reservations system have already listed the aircraft. In addition, American offered passengers the opportunity to ask questions and speak with pilots at a number of its hubs before the flight.
With Alaska Airlines becoming a new player in the 737MAX’s return to the skies, the aircraft’s future is closer than anticipated. However, its return was not without error and mistake. The airlines who do choose to operate the aircraft in their fleet need to take the appropriate steps and properly prepare the crew for an effective and safe flight.