Alaska Airways Provides Boeing 737 MAX 8 To Fleet

Alaska Airways solely flies Boeing 737s, which is one thing the airline is pleased with, provided that it’s primarily based in Seattle. That’s why it’s fairly noteworthy that the provider has simply added a brand new plane sort to its fleet.

Alaska takes supply of recent Boeing 737 MAX variant

Whereas Alaska Airways additionally flies Boeing 737-700s, 737-800s, and 737-900s, the airline is counting on 737 MAXs for its fleet renewal. These are the most recent variations of the 737, that includes improved economics and vary in comparison with earlier era 737s. In the long term, Alaska intends to fly the 737 MAX 8, 737 MAX 9, and 737 MAX 10 (not factoring in no matter occurs with the Hawaiian Airways merger).

Alaska took supply of its first Boeing 737 MAX 9 again in January 2021, and over the previous three years, the airline has taken supply of 65 of those jets. Now Alaska has lastly taken supply of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which has the license plate N801AK. The airline plans to take supply of seven extra of those in 2024.

The 737 MAX 8 is the decrease capability and longer vary model of the 737 MAX 9. Alaska intends to equip the primary 5 737 MAX 8s with a complete of 159 seats, together with 12 top notch seats and 147 financial system seats. Then beginning with the sixth airplane, Alaska will introduce a brand new configuration with 161 seats, together with 16 top notch seats and 145 financial system seats, and people preliminary planes might be retrofitted. I’ll discuss extra about all of this in a separate submit.

Alaska Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8

For context on Alaska’s long run Boeing 737 MAX plans:

  • The airline is concentrating on to have 20-40 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, that includes 159 seats; Alaska plans to make use of this because the longest vary 737, finest for prime efficiency and medium sized markets
  • The airline is concentrating on to have 80 Boeing 737 MAX 9s, that includes 178 seats; Alaska plans to make use of this because the plane for lengthy haul, excessive demand routes
  • The airline is concentrating on to have 120-140 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, that includes 190 seats; Alaska will use this as the most important, best plane in its fleet

Boeing continues to be working towards certification for the 737 MAX 10, although that’s reportedly near turning into a actuality. Alaska plans to take supply of its first 737 MAX 10 in 2025.

Alaska’s fascinating Boeing 737 MAX variant alternative

It’s fascinating to see the strategy completely different airways take towards fleet planning. For instance, each Alaska Airways and Southwest Airways solely fly the Boeing 737s, however they’re refreshing their fleets in completely other ways:

  • Alaska is focusing nearly totally on the bigger 737 MAX 9 and 737 MAX 10 plane for its fleet renewal; the airline ordered a really restricted variety of 737 MAX 8s, and didn’t order 737 MAX 7s
  • Southwest is focusing solely on the smaller 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 8 plane for its fleet renewal; the airline hasn’t ordered any 737 MAX 9s or 737 MAX 10s

Why do the airways take such completely different approaches? Alaska’s logic is that the bigger variants of the 737 MAX solely have marginally greater working prices, so the incremental price of providing these further seats is minimal. In the meantime Southwest’s logic is that the airline would wrestle to fill the bigger variants on many routes, and that may trigger the airline to should decrease fares, and wouldn’t be good for profitability.

Clearly the airways each have causes for his or her logic. I perceive why Southwest takes the strategy it does, however I’m stunned that the airline doesn’t even see advantage to working bigger variants in some markets.

Southwest is concentrated on smaller Boeing 737 MAX variants

Backside line

Alaska Airways has taken supply of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8. For the previous few years, the airline has modernized its fleet with dozens of 737 MAX 9s, and now the airline is beginning to fly the smaller and longer vary variant of the plane. Then beginning in 2025, Alaska plans to accumulate 737 MAX 10s.

It’s fascinating how few 737 MAX 8s Alaska has on order, because the airline as a substitute focuses on bigger variants of the jet. That’s precisely the alternative of Southwest’s technique.

What do you make of Alaska’s 737 MAX 8 plans?

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