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Alaska Airlines Plans for Fleet Growth and Route Expansion

May 12, 2021 | News, Transportation

Alaska Airlines

With recovery on the horizon, Alaska Airlines is taking advantage of strategic opportunities by adding thirty mainline and regional aircraft to fulfill capacity needs in the years ahead. And as more travelers search for additional leisure getaways, Alaska will begin flying to Belize City, Belize.

Alaska expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by the summer of 2022, which will require more aircraft across Air Group. To prime the airline for growth, Alaska is taking the following actions:

  • Adding seventeen new Embraer 175 jets to the regional fleet in 2022 and 2023—nine to be operated by Horizon Air and eight by SkyWest.
  • Exercising options for thirteen Boeing 737-9 MAX deliveries in 2023 and 2024.

The 17 regional aircraft additions grow Air Group’s regional fleet to 111 planes: 71 at Horizon and 40 with SkyWest. Horizon will receive its 9 additional E175s in the next two years: 5 scheduled for delivery in 2022 and 4 in 2023. This is in addition to 3 existing firm E175 orders to be operated by Horizon. All 8 SkyWest aircraft will enter service for Alaska in 2022.

“Regional aircraft play a huge role in Alaska’s growing network,” says Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances. “As our network expands, regional aircraft connect smaller communities to our larger hubs providing critical feed to assist in the development of new markets.”  

Alaska announced a restructured agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to acquire 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 to 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026. The airline will accept the first 13 options over two years: 9 in 2023 and 4 in 2024.

“We are excited to exercise options for more 737-9s just months after committing to 68 firm deliveries. It’s another indication that we’re ready for growth,” adds Pieper.

Current Issue

Alaska Business October 2021 Cover

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Alaska is also launching new nonstop service to Belize City, Belize, in Central America from the West Coast. Belize will be the fourth country Alaska flies to from its West Coast hubs, joining Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Routes and schedules to Belize will be announced when ticket sales begin in early June.

“Our guests are eager for more eco-friendly leisure destinations, especially as they get vaccinated, and we’re ready to offer them terrific options,” says Brett Catlin, Alaska Airlines vice president of network and alliances. “Belize offers an unbeatable mix of sensational beaches, iconic cayes and rich heritage.”

Alaska is now a member of the oneworld global alliance. With oneworld and our additional airline partners, guests can travel to as many as 1,000 destinations around the world. Along the way, flyers can earn and redeem miles with Alaska’s highly-acclaimed Mileage Plan program.

Alaska Business Magazine October 2021 cover

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Recall Rubin’s vase, an exercise in optical illusion: when presented with a specific image, some see a vase while others see two faces. Something viewed from one perspective can look radically different from another. And when a shift in perspective leads to a shift in perception, it often yields surprising results.After all, a grizzly and a sockeye may share the same stream—but hardly the same view.

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