Alaska Airlines Orders 50 Boeing Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAXs
Alaska Airlines has announced an order for 50 Boeing aircraft, the largest order in the airline’s history. At $5 billion, the order consists of 13 Boeing Next-Generation 737-900ERs, and 37 Boeing 737 MAXs (20 of the 737 MAX 8s and 17 or the 737 MAX 9s).
Currently operating 120 Boeing 737s, Alaska Airlines will use two-thirds of its order to replace older aircraft, while the remaining new aircraft will be used to help the airline expand and grow. The delivery of the Boeing 737-900ERs will start later this month, and will continue through 2017. The first 737 MAX 8 is expected to join the airline’s fleet in 2018, while the first 737 MAX 9 is expected to join in 2019.
Expected to be 13% more fuel efficient than today’s most fuel efficient single-aisle aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX will have a wingspan of 117 feet, 10 inches, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.79 (586 mph). The aircraft uses CFM International LEAP-1B engines, raked “dual feather” winglets, and a more aerodynamic tail cone. The MAX 8 is 129 feet long, while the MAX 9 is 138 feet in length.
The 737-900ER will include Recaro leather seats with more legroom. All of Alaska’s new aircraft will feature Boeing Sky Interior, with overhead bins providing increased storage and headroom, along with flexible ambient lighting. Alaska is the third U.S. airline to order the Boeing 737 MAX, and the airline’s order brings the total number of 737 MAX orders in the marketplace to 858.