In a major boost for Boeing, Alaska Airlines has opted for more 737 MAX jets.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the airline has reached an agreement with LA-based Air Lease Corp. which will bring Alaska another 13 Boeing 737 Max jets in addition to the 32 Maxes the carrier has on order directly with Boeing.
It reports that Alaska will also sell 10 Airbus A320 aircraft it acquired in its Virgin America takeover.
When Alaska took over Virgin American it acquired a large fleet of A320s that now numbers 61 with 30 A320NEOS on order. Alaska has 163 737s with 32 737 MAXs on order.
And that news comes hard on the heels of Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian hinting at the possibility of purchasing the 737 MAX.
“We’re talking to Boeing about lots of different things, the Max included,” Bastian told the Financial Times.
Delta does not have the 737 MAX in its fleet but does have over 200 737-800 and -900 aircraft.
A Delta order would be an enormous boost to Boeing and the 737 MAX after the US regulator the FAA lifted the grounding of the MAX last week.
Bringing the Boeing 737 MAX back into service after two tragic crashes that claimed 346 lives has been the most comprehensive aircraft re-evaluation since the Comet tragedies of the early 1950s.
The numbers are extraordinary with 391,000 engineering and software man-hours, 1,847 simulator hours, 3000 flight hours, 80 airlines, and 12 aviation regulators or organizations.
The result of that global extraordinary effort is an aircraft that is as safe as the industry can make it and reflects the watershed that these accidents are for aviation.