Industry Alaska Airlines exercises purchase options for 12 Boeing 737-9

U.S.-Airline Alaska Airlines has announced, that it has exercised its purchase options for 12 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft.

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Alaska Airlines is continuing to accelerate its growth. With the early conversion of purchase options for 12 Boeing 737-9 aircraft, the carrier has brought its 737-9 logbook to 93 aircraft, of which five are already in service.

Deliveries for the 12 737-9 will be happening in 2023 and 2024. The purchase options come from a purchase deal with Boeing in 2020, in which Alaska acquired 68 737-9s with options to purchase 52 aircraft more. In May this year, Alaska already exercised 13 aircraft, so it has now converted 25 of the 52 options.

Nat Pieper, Alaska Airlines senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances, commented: "We are excited to accelerate Alaska's growth, building on our solid financial foundation that enabled us to weather the pandemic […] These aircraft are a prudent, long-term investment in our business that we can make while simultaneously maintaining our strong balance sheet."

The U.S.-Airline has configured its 737-9s to welcome 178 guests on board. 16 passengers can be accommodated in First Class, 24 in Premium Class and the rest in Economy Class. Nowadays, not many airlines are offering First Class seats on single-aisle aircraft.

Last year, Alaska took delivery of their first MAX aircraft and the airline has done its best to implement the aircraft into service. "Boeing continues to be a terrific partner for Alaska. We began flying our first 737-9s this past spring, and we're extremely pleased with the operational, financial and environmental performance of the aircraft," confirmed Pieper. "The planes are exceeding our expectations – from how quiet the engines run to the greater range they provide – and our guests love them."

This latest conversion of purchase options is the logical result of Alaska´s satisfaction with the aircraft. After the takeover of Virgin America, Alaska is now slowly phasing out the Airbus aircraft, as it sees to operate with an all-Boeing aircraft fleet soon.

Currently, the fleet consists of 44 Airbus A320s, 10 Airbus A321neos, 171 Boeing 737s, 32 De Havilland DHC-8s and 62 Embraer ERJ-175s. In May, the airline announced to have signed an agreement with operator SkyWest Airlines to order new ERJ-175 regional jets.

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