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Alaska Will Become an All-Boeing Airline Again Next Week
Alaska is set to operate only an all-Boeing fleet again by next week. Acquired from the company’s 2018 purchase of Virgin America, the Seattle-based airline once maintained a fleet of 68 Airbus narrowbody aircraft, per planespotters.net data. Several of these jets were retired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
In an effort to synergize its fleet, Alaska painted the Airbus aircraft into its standard livery, while also retrofitting interiors. At the time of writing, the airline has begun winding down its Airbus fleet, with only five A321neos remaining. This sub-fleet has an average age of nearly six years old; Virgin America was the first airline to operate the A321neo variant.
Prior to the nearly $4 billion merger, Alaska maintained an exclusively Boeing 737 fleet, sporting a ‘Proudly All Boeing’ slogan across its aircraft. Per planespotters.net, the carrier now has over 200 Boeing jets, including the 737 MAX.
Alaska’s Last Airbus Flight
Alaska is further winding down its Airbus operations this week with a final flight planned on September 30. According to Cirium schedule data, a total of 82 flights remain on the five A321neos.
Through Saturday, the aircraft can still be found on flights between Newark, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Six flights will take place on Saturday, including one final transcontinental trip from Newark to Los Angeles. The last revenue flight is slated to be AS1126 from Seattle to Los Angeles.
Future of Alaska’s Fleet
After Saturday’s planned last flight, it is unclear where the A321neos will head next. It is expected that most will head to storage, awaiting a new owner. According to ch-aviation, Alaska completed a phase-out of its A320ceo fleet in early 2023, with 29 frames currently in storage.
Returning to its roots as an all-Boeing operator, Alaska currently has seven future deliveries expected for Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 variant. Despite additional delivery hiccups, Alaska has taken delivery of over a dozen 737 MAX jets this year.
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