LONDON – Alaska Airlines has ordered an additional 52 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft today, bringing their total purchasing commitment to 146 from 94.
It is understood that deliveries will commence in 2024 and roll up all of the way through to 2027, with Alaska securing rights for 105 more aircraft through 2030, should they choose to exercise that.
Commenting on the deal was Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci:
“This investment secures aircraft to optimize our growth through the next decade, which we know will be a formidable competitive advantage”.
“We’re proud of the strong financial foundation that uniquely positions Alaska to make this commitment to our future and of the fantastic partnership we share with our hometown aircraft manufacturer at Boeing.”
Also commenting on the deal was Stan Deal, President & CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes:
“As Alaska Airlines sustainably grows its fleet, the 737 MAX family offers environmental performance and flexibility to expand service across its route network”.
“Built in our Renton factory near Alaska’s headquarters in Washington state, these airplanes will carry passengers to destinations for years to come.”
Coming back to the 2030 point, this allows Alaska to operate up to 250 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by 2030, with the agreement allowing flexibility depending on economic conditions.
By 2023, a new 737 MAX will join the Alaska Airlines fleet every 10 days, which is quite a staggering feat.
Strong Confidence Boost for the MAX Program…
This order does represent a strong confidence boost for the MAX program, especially as Boeing looks to move on from the crisis and focus more on its sales momentum.
With an order of that magnitude, it does offer confidence that the aircraft is safe and will not stop Alaska Airlines from buying more units of the type.
The backlog for the MAX is healthy enough, but an order like this will send a message to other airlines considering an order to make one.
Either way, this is something that Boeing can take as a very good indicator of confidence, and they will use that to lobby customers further going into the future.
It’s going to be interesting to see who else may order the MAX as a new customer or boost their existing order numbers going forward.
It remains clear that Boeing is pressing ahead with its sales strategy and have definitely mopped the floor with Airbus today following an order from Air Canada for 15 more A220-300s.
What we can probably expect to see in the short to medium term is the MAX going up against the A220, especially on the more regional front of travel.
Such an order will be quite the smokescreen today, especially after the manufacturer unveiled a whopping $2.8bn loss on its defense side.
Either way, with a total backlog valued at $381bn, Boeing now just has to get on with the job and start making deliveries at a faster rate to generate more revenue.