Alaska Airlines orders 50 Boeing aircraft worth $5 billion

Alaska Airlines orders 50 Boeing aircraft worth $5 billion
SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines announced Friday an order for 50 Boeing jetliners, representing the largest aircraft purchase in the Seattle-based carrier's history.

The order is worth $5 billion at manufacturer's list prices.

The aircraft, which will be delivered between 2015 and 2022, includes firm orders for 13 Boeing Next-Generation 737-900ERs, 20 737 MAX 8s and 17 737 MAX 9s.

"This order positions us for growth and ensures that we'll continue to operate the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft available for the foreseeable
future. That means our customers will continue to enjoy a comfortable inflight experience, low fares and excellent on-time performance," Alaska Airlines President and CEO Brad Tilden said.

"We value our longstanding relationship with Boeing and look forward to painting ‘Proudly All Boeing' on the nose of our aircraft for many, many years into the future."

Alaska Airlines currently operates 120 Boeing 737s. The new firm aircraft order, plus 25 existing firm delivery positions, give the carrier the flexibility to manage its fleet size to meet air travel demand over the next decade, the company said in a statement.

Two-thirds of the aircraft are expected to replace older airplanes. The remaining firm orders and options will enable Alaska Airlines to grow, assuming sufficient customer demand and that the company continues to achieve its profit.

Existing and new orders for the 737-900ER will be delivered starting in late October 2012 and continue through 2017. The first 737 MAX 8 is scheduled to
enter Alaska's fleet in 2018 followed by the first 737 MAX 9 in 2019. Alaska is the third U.S. airline to order the MAX.

"The 737 MAX will be a great addition to Alaska Airlines' all-Boeing 737 fleet," said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This order demonstrates our hometown partner's strong commitment to operate the most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes on the market today and in the future."