Alaska Airlines operated its final Airbus A321 flight this evening, and thus, its last flight with an Airbus-produced plane.
Operating as AS1126 from Seattle to Los Angeles, the aircraft departed at 1850 local time before touching down in Los Angeles just over 2 hours later.
Hundreds tracked the A321-253N registered as N921VA on Flightradar24 – https://www.flightradar24.com/ASA1126/32409826
Alaska Airlines retiring its Airbus fleet has been a long time in the making. Some would say it was always going to happen.
Known as an all-Boeing operator, when Alaska acquired Virgin America, which operated an all-Airbus fleet, the two collided. As a result, Alaska received these jets.
However, during the height of the pandemic, the airline announced its intent to retire all Airbus aircraft. It was noted that by 2023, all of these Airbus jets would be removed.
A decision made by critical executives was part of a simplification process at the airline that would see them move towards once more Boeing-powered aircraft.
Retirement was going to be a hefty process. While aided already by the pandemic, the carrier had well over 50 aircraft produced by Airbus available.
These Airbus aircraft, especially the neos, are relatively young and will have no trouble finding another home.
However, lovers of the type will be disappointed to see Alaska moving back to Boeing jets again. However, the airline believes it has more benefits than continuing with two plane makers.