Alaska Airlines Welcomes First Boeing 737-8

Daniel Fowkes
05 Jan 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Alaska Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-8, from the MAX series as it moves towards becoming the airline with the youngest fleet in the United States. Alaska Airlines also outlined its planned operations with other 737 MAX aircraft in the future too.

Alaska Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-8, a narrowbody part of the 737 MAX series.

The arrival of the first unit allows the airline to continue to grow its commitment to the 737 MAX and aligns with its long-term strategic fleet plan that plots a roadmap to ongoing success.

The 737-8 will be essential to add fantastic new connections to the existing route network. Alaska Airlines says the 737-8 will be deployed from Anchorage to New York JFK from June 13, 2024, on seasonal service.

This service will become the longest flight operated by the airline, coming in at 3,386 miles, which offers an essential connection between the two cities but notably shows off the 737-8s capabilities.

Seven further 737-8s are expected to be delivered to Alaska Airlines in 2024 alone, with the following four coming in March. The carrier highlights the commonality between the three variants as a reason why selecting the type has been easy.

Alaska Airlines Delivery Outlook

The expectation is that from 2024 through 2027, Alaska Airlines will be able to add anywhere between 15 and 25 new aircraft from Boeing annually.

As a result of these deliveries, the airline will continue transitioning towards next-generation Boeing narrowbodies to bring further efficiency to its operations.

Alaska Airlines says that it proudly flies the youngest fleet of all the airlines based in the United States, and these upcoming MAX deliveries will aid the company significantly in continuing with this.

Understanding The 737 MAX Operation

Alaska Airlines has several 737 MAX variants that’ll eventually operate across its fleet, each serving a different purpose. While there are still some anomalies, such as the delivery date of the 737-10, its outline remains firm.

Model Delivered to date Target Mix Aircraft seats Role in Alaska’s fleet 
737-10 — 120-140 190 This model will be the largest, most efficient aircraft in our fleet 
737-9 65 80 178 Ideal aircraft for long-haul, high-demand routes 
737-8 20-40 159 Longest-range 737 best for high-performance and medium-sized markets 
An overview of the 737 MAX operation

As a result, the expectation is the 737-10 will be configured with 190 seats and will be the highest capacity variant of the MAX series.

Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines expects the 737-8 to be optimal for longer-ranged routes and generally medium-sized markets.

Alaska Airlines celebrates delivery of its first Boeing 737-8

The middle ground 737-9 has 178 seats and will be ideal for long-haul routes with high demand levels. The airline already has 65 of these in service with plans to welcome more.

However, Alaska Airlines switch towards the 737-10 and 737-8 is relatively new. In March 2022, the carrier adjusted orders for the existing 737-9 model to include the two further variants produced by the plane maker.

The belief is that through acquiring the 737-8 and once approved the 737-10, they’ll be able to enhance profitability, the routes they fly and truly optimise fleet utilisation across the company.

Comments From Executives

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 maximize our revenue potential. 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.

Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances at Alaska Airlines.

It’s more important than ever that we deliver a consistent product to our guests. 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.

Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products at Alaska Airlines.

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