Alaska Airlines confirmed the arrival of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 on January 4th. The aircraft, however, had flown into Oakland International Airport last December 27.
Until then, the company only had the 737-9 variant of the MAX family, of which it has 65 jets in service. In March 2022, however, Alaska decided to also rely on the smaller 737-8 and 737-10.
The 737 MAX 8 is the most popular version in the series and on Alaska Airlines it will have a cabin with just 159 seats – possibly 16 of them in First Class.
It is a configuration with 13 fewer seats than American Airlines’ 737-8, for example.
The task of the 737 MAX 8 in Alaska will be to take on long-haul North American flights such as Anchorage-New York (JFK), which will debut with the new jet on June 13. It will be the longest flight operated by the airline.
Alaska’s plan is to receive seven more 737-8s in 2024, four of which are scheduled to enter the fleet in March.
The carrier is also hoping to begin deliveries of the 737 MAX 10 from 2025. Although it can carry up to 230 passengers, the aircraft will be configured with 190 seats in two classes.
In addition to the Boeing jets, Alaska also stated that it will have nine Embraer E175 regional jets delivered in the coming years, bringing the subsidiary Horizon Air’s fleet to 50 planes.
SkyWest also operates 42 E-Jets on behalf of Alaska, which when added to its own fleet currently reaches a total of 310 aircraft.