SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday it is purchasing over 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, marking the airline's biggest-ever purchase of Boeing planes in its history.
Alaska Airlines said it will purchase 52 737 MAX planes between 2024 and 2027. This will grow the airline's fleet of 737 MAX planes from 94 to 146. The airline also secured rights for 105 more planes through 2030.
This is the largest commitment for future aircraft in the company's 90-year history, Alaska Airlines said in a release.
"This investment secures aircraft to optimize our growth through the next decade, which we know will be a formidable competitive advantage,” said Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci. “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.”
Alaska Airlines said it expects another 43 737 MAX planes between now and the end of 2023. The airline estimated a new 737 MAX plane will be delivered about every 10 days.
These new additions will be added to the fleet of 35 aircraft that consists solely of Boeing planes.
Alaska Airlines said its fleet is "one of the most efficient, environmentally friendly, and profitable fleets in the industry."
This future commitment comes as Boeing reported a $3.3 billion loss for the third quarter Wednesday, as revenue fell short of expectations and took huge losses for fixed-cost government programs including new Air Force One presidential jets.
The company blamed higher manufacturing and supply-chain costs for driving the losses in government programs.
CEO David Calhoun said Boeing remains in a "challenging environment" and has “more work ahead to drive stability."
Revenue in Boeing's normally consistent defense and space business tumbled by 20% and it took $2.8 billion in charges on a military refueling tanker, Air Force One, a NASA program to build a spacecraft that can ferry astronauts to the International Space Station and other programs.
“We're not embarrassed by those," Calhoun said on a call with analysts. "They are what they are."