Airlines Alaska Airlines modernizes fleet with 13 leased 737 MAX

Alaska Airlines has presented a new modernization program, which sees the airline adding 13 new 737-9 MAX aircraft to its fleet.

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Alaska Airlines has signed a transaction with Air Lease Corporation to add 13 new Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft from the leasing company to its fleet. In return, Alaska will sell 10 Airbus A320s to the company.

If the MAX will be re-certified by then, Alaska Airlines will receive the aircraft from the fourth quarter of next year through 2022. For a short period of time after the transaction has closed, Alaska will lease back the sold 10 A320s.

Steven F. Udvar-Házy, executive chairman of Air Lease Corporation said: "We are honored and pleased to renew our long association and partnership with our friends at Alaska Airlines [...] These leased Boeing 737-9 aircraft from ALC will fill an important role on Alaska's diverse route network, bringing the most technologically advanced and environmentally attractive aircraft type into Alaska's fleet, just in time as we expect the airline industry will undergo a sustainable recovery starting in 2021."

Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group chairman and CEO added: "Alaska's relationship with Steve dates back to the early 1980s and we're thrilled to work with him and ALC on an agreement that will enhance our fleet and advance our environmental, operational and financial performance [...] We found an opportunity to sell 10 planes that are not in our long-term plans and replace them with 13 of the most efficient narrow-body aircraft available."

The larger 737-9 MAX is in consequence capable of flying 600 miles farther than the A320ceo fleet. This opens new markets for Alaska Airlines to explore. Additionally, the MAX aircraft are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

After Alaska bought Virgin America, the carrier took over the A320 and A321 fleets. Earlier this summer, the airline had to park a majority of its aircraft due to the pandemic, but the deals leaves Alaska Airlines with 39 A320s in its fleet and 10 A321neos.

Alaska Airlines is a major American airline that was founded 76 years ago in 1944. The airline is set to become a member of the oneworld alliance in 2021 and currently operates flights to 115 destinations across the United States and North America.

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