Alaska Airlines leases 13 additional Boeing 737 MAX

An Alaska Airlines Airbus A320. Photo ©: Tomás Del Coro

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has expanded its commitment for the Boeing 737 MAX 9 by thirteen additional aircraft.

These new planes will be leased from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), which in return is buying ten of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft. Alaska Airlines says that the new 737 MAX are scheduled for delivery in 2021 and 2022. Additionally, the A320 which are set to be sold to ALC are to be leased back by the airline for “a short period of time”.

Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX family, which has been ungrounded by the FAA a week ago, is set to be introduced into the Alaska Airlines fleet in March 2021 when the airline starts operating the first five aircraft of the type. Before today’s announcement, the carrier had a total of 32 Boeing 737 MAX 9 on order from Boeing.

The Airbus A320 family found its way into Alaska Airlines fleet in 2016 when the carrier acquired Virgin America in a deal worth more than US $4 billion. The integration of Virgin America was completed in early 2018. However, the number of Airbus aircraft has since steadily declined, all A319 were stored earlier this year and the number of A320 will reach just 22 by the end of 2021.