Alaska Airlines signed an acquisition contract for 23 737 MAX 9 in addition to 15 options with Boeing. The deal had been announced in December as a purchase commitment and was not included in the planemaker’s backlog at the time.
The Seattle-based carrier now has a total of 120 aircraft of the 737 MAX family planned, including firm orders, options and leasing agreements.
Alaska, therefore, continues with the plan to operate Boeing aircraft since it is passing on the Airbus A320s that have been in its fleet since taking over Virgin America.
The first 737 MAX 9 was delivered by Boeing in January and entered service on March 1, while the second aircraft started operating on the 18th. According to the US manufacturer, two more jets are scheduled to begin revenue service next week.
The 737 MAX 9 is currently the highest-capacity variant of the new aisle jet family, and can be configured with up to 220 seats. Boeing, however, is certifying the 737 MAX 10, which is expected to enter service in 2024 and will have a capacity of up to 230 seats.