On May 12, 2021, Alaska Airlines announced that it would add 13 Boeing 737 MAX and Embraer E175 aircraft to its fleet, as part of the expansion plan.
In a statement, Alaska Airlines said it would need more aircraft across the Group’s subsidiaries to meet a growing domestic demand, which, according to the carrier, would return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.
Alaska plans to add 17 Embraer E175 aircraft to its regional arms, Horizon Air and SkyWest (SKYW), fleets. Of its 17 new Embraer E175 jets, nine will be flown by Horizon Air and eight by SkyWest (SKYW). Alaska expects to receive deliveries of Embraer E175 aircraft in 2022 and 2023.
“Regional aircraft play a huge role in Alaska’s growing network,” said Nat Pieper, senior vice president of Alaska 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.”
Additionally, Alaska Airlines announced a restructured agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to acquire 68 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 to 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026. The air carrier will accept the first 13 options over two years: nine in 2023 and four 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,” added Pieper.
Currently, Alaska Airlines has a total of 320 aircraft in its fleet, as per planespotters.net data. The largest part of the airline’s fleet consists of Boeing 737 family aircraft, with 79 Boeing 737-900ERs, 61 737-800s, 14 737-700s, 12 737-900s, and four Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Adding to that, Alaska has quite a hefty fleet of Embraer jets ‒ 62 Embraer ERJ-175 aircraft.