Alaska Airlines received the first Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft. (video)
Alaska Airlines received the first Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, marking a new phase of fleet modernization. The company's pilots made a short flight from Seattle's Boeing Field to the company's hangar at Sea-Tac International Airport. Some of the members of the Alaska Airlines Board of Directors were also on board the aircraft.
The first Boeing 737-9 Alaska Alaska is scheduled to enter operational service on March 1, performing daily round-trip flights between Seattle and San Diego, Seattle and Los Angeles. The second 737-9 of the airline is scheduled to enter operational service in March, but a little later.
Five weeks of preparation for Alaska Airlines teams to bring 737 MAX aircraft into operational service
Alaska Airlines teams will follow a strict training schedule before passenger flights begin with the new 737-9 MAX. The process, which involves rigorous rounds of testing, verification and specific training, will take five weeks, as follows:
- Technicians will follow the training to become more familiar with the new aircraft. They will receive at least 40 hours of "preparation for differences", ie to learn the differences between the 737 MAX and 737 NG, which are now in the Alaska Airlines fleet. Some technicians will receive an additional 40 hours of specialized training focused on the engines and systems of the 737-9 MAX aircraft.
- The pilots will test 737-9, performing 50 flight hours and approximately 19.000 miles, including to destinations such as Alaska or Hawaii. These "test flights" are operated to confirm the safety standards of the airline and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but also to ensure a full understanding of the aircraft's capabilities.
- The pilots will have eight hours of training with the new on-board computer specific to the 737 MAX aircraft, before receiving the flight approval. Also, during two days, they will have two hours of training in the 737 MAX certified flight simulator, of the latest generation.
The airline will receive 68 737 MAX aircraft in the next 4 years.
Deliveries of 737-9 Alaska Airlines aircraft will be made using sustainable fuel (SAF), reducing life-cycle CO2 emissions. SAF will be used on all MAX aircraft deliveries and will be supplied by Epic Fuels.
Alaska Airlines announced a restructured order agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to receive a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft over the next four years, with options for an additional 52 aircraft.
Alaska Airlines will receive 13 737-9 MAX aircraft this year, 30 in 2022, 13 in 2023 and 12 in 2024. The agreement also includes the Alaska Airlines announcement made in November 2020, expressing its desire to lease 13 737-9 aircraft.
These 68 aircraft will replace existing Airbus aircraft in the Alaska Airlnes fleet. Thus, through homogenization, the fleet becomes more profitable and more ecological. 737-9 will enhance the guest experience and will support the growth of the company.