The aircraft type, which was grounded from March 2019 until late 2020 following two fatal MAX crashes, is a 737-9 variant. Alaska anticipates receiving a second 737-9 later in March. No routes for the second MAX have been announced.
"This plane is a significant part of our future,” Alaska Airlines president Ben Minicucci said.
Before entering revenue service, “Alaska's pilots will put the 737-9 through its paces, flying it more than 50 flight hours and roughly 19,000 miles around the country, including to Alaska and Hawaii,” Alaska said in a statement.
“Our pilots will receive eight hours of MAX-specific, computer-based training prior to flying the aircraft over the course of two days, which includes at least two hours of training in Alaska's own certified, state-of-the-art MAX flight simulator. That's where they fly several maneuvers specific to the aircraft and better understand the improvements that have been made to the plane,” the SEA-based carrier said.
Alaska restructured its MAX order agreement with Boeing in December 2020. The airline is now slated to receive a total of 68 737-9 aircraft over the next four years, with options for an additional 52 MAX aircraft. The airline is scheduled to receive 13 737-9s this year; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. These deliveries include 13 737-9 aircraft that the airline is leasing as part of a separate transaction.
Photo credit: Alaska Airlines