Alaska Airlines to purchase 68 new Boeing 737 MAX planes
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Airlines has said it intends to purchase 68 new Boeing 737 MAX planes despite the model having been grounded in 2019 after a pair of high-profile crashes that killed 346 people.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that it would only fly the aircraft after its “own assessments, verifications and internal reviews determine that the aircraft is safe throughout our network for our guests and our crews.”
The aircraft took its first commercial flight in almost two years with a journey from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre in Brazil on Dec. 9. Restrictions have been lifted in the U.S. on the aircraft and commercial flights in the country are expected to resume soon, likely beginning with American Airlines on Dec. 29, the Associated Press reported earlier this month.
New maintenance and training regulations have been made for all operators of the 737 MAX. Those rules include a mandate that the Federal Aviation Administration approve the plane’s training program on an individual basis per airline.
Alaska Airlines will receive its first new delivery from Boeing in March 2021, with five new planes scheduled to arrive by the summer.
“We believe in this airplane, we believe in our strong partnership with Boeing, and we believe in the future of Alaska Airlines and the incredible opportunities ahead as we climb our way out of this pandemic,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement.
Alaska Airlines did not respond to a message from the Juneau Empire asking how much the planes will cost.