Boeing will deliver 23 more 737-9 airplanes to Alaska Airlines, expanding on its original order and an agreement to acquire new 737-9s through lease, Boeing reported on Tuesday. With the expanded agreement, Alaska Airlines will receive 120 airplanes under 737 MAX orders and options.
"We are extremely proud to be announcing this transformative agreement with Boeing," said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. "We believe in this airplane, we believe in our strong partnership with Boeing, and we believe in the future of Alaska Airlines and the incredible opportunities ahead as we climb our way out of this pandemic."
Under the new agreement, Alaska Airlines will increase scale, efficiency and flexibility to expand operations. It will add 23 firm orders for the 737-9 and more options for future purchases. Alaska Airlines will have 52 options which, if fully exercised, would take the carrier to as many as 120 737 MAX airplanes.
The airline said the deal moves it toward a more efficient, all-Boeing mainline fleet that will "enhance the guest experience, improve operational performance and support the company's growth." Alaska Airlines placed an order for 32 737-9 jets in 2012 as part of its fleet modernization program.
The 737-9 has been designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility. In Nov. 2020, Alaska Airlines announced it is expanding its commitment to the 737 MAX program by leasing 13 new 737-9s while selling some A320 jets it had taken on through its acquisition of Virgin America.
"With Alaska's industry-leading reputation for safety, sustainability and customer service, we are honored they have chosen to invest in their future with a significant purchase of additional Boeing 737 airplanes," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are grateful for Alaska's trust and partnership. Our team is focused on delivering their first 737 MAX jets and helping ensure a safe and seamless entry into service."