Alaska places $5B order for Boeing’s new 737 jets

Herald staff and Associated Press

Alaska Airlines has placed an order for 37 of the Boeing Co.’s new 737 MAX jets and 13 of the company’s existing 737 aircraft.

The order announced Thursday is valued at $5 billion at list prices, making it the largest order in the history of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. Jet makers tend to discount heavily from list prices. Alaska’s order includes 20 737 MAX 8s, 17 737 MAX 9s and 13 Next-Generation 737-900ERs.

“This order positions us for growth and ensures that we’ll continue to operate the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft available for the foreseeable future,” Brad Tilden, president of Alaska Airlines, said in a statement.

Alaska operates a fleet of all 737s. It has 120 of them in operation and 25 that are set to be delivered over the next several years. The planes contained in Thursday’s order are expected to be given to Alaska between 2015 and 2022.

Of the 75 planes Alaska currently has on order, two-thirds will replace older planes in the airline’s fleet.

“This order demonstrates our hometown airline’s strong commitment to operate the most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes in the market today and in the future,” Ray Conner, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

Boeing launched its updated 737 MAX last year. The refreshed single-aisle aircraft will have more fuel-efficient engines and a new interior designed to make the jet’s cabin look larger. The jet’s overhead bins have more storage and are similar to those used on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

Chicago-based Boeing has orders for 858 of the 737 Max from major airlines in the U.S. and abroad. Southwest Airlines Co. will be the first recipient of Boeing’s new plane