Alaska Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX-8 as the carrier progresses with its long-term fleet upgrade plan.

Alaska Airlines currently has firm orders for 80 more 737 MAX aircraft, and options and purchase rights for another 105. Their first 737-10 is scheduled for delivery in 2025.

“The addition of the 737-8 and eventually the 737-10 to our fleet creates new opportunities for us to fly longer nonstop routes and maximise our revenue potential,” said Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances at Alaska Airlines.

“We have achieved terrific results with the 737-9 in guest satisfaction, economics and fuel efficiency, and we are excited for our future with the other 737 models.”

In March 2022, Alaska adjusted its existing 737 MAX-9 aircraft order with Boeing to include the bigger 737 MAX-10 and longer-range 737 MAX-8.

The carrier will add a new nonstop Anchorage-New York JFK seasonal route with the 737 MAX-8, launching June 13, 2024.

Anchorage-JFK (at 3,386 miles) will become the longest flight Alaska operates.

Alaska is scheduled to take delivery of seven more 737 MAX-8s in 2024, with the next four slotted to enter the fleet in March. The 737 MAX-8, -9 and -10 all offer a common cockpit, common engines, and similar components.

Alaska’s regional carrier, Horizon Air, also continues to grow its fleet of jets. Over the next three years, Horizon will add nine new Embraer E175s, bringing its total to 50 by the end of 2026. Alaska’s regional partner SkyWest also operates 42 E175s. The combined fleet size of mainline and regional jets is currently 310.

“It’s more important than ever that we deliver a consistent product to our guests,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products at Alaska Airlines. “The updates we’re making to our older Boeing aircraft will provide a more consistent guest experience on our Boeing fleet by making the cabins look and feel more like our 737-9 and 737-8 aircraft.”

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