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Alaska Airlines Announced Plans for Fleet Growth and Route Expansion

As Alaska Airlines expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by the summer of 2022, the group will require more aircraft across the organisation. 

The 17 regional aircraft additions grow air group's regional fleet to 111 planes: 71 at Horizon and 40 with SkyWest. Horizon will receive its nine additional E175s in the next two years: five scheduled for delivery in 2022 and four in 2023. This is in addition to three existing firm E175 orders to be operated by Horizon. All eight SkyWest aircraft will enter service for Alaska in 2022.

"Regional aircraft play a huge role in Alaska's growing network," said Nat Pieper, senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances, Alaska Airlines. "As our network expands, regional aircraft connect smaller communities to our larger hubs providing critical feed to assist in the development of new markets."  

Alaska announced a restructured agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to acquire 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 to 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026. The airline will accept the first 13 options over two years: nine in 2023 and four in 2024.

"We are excited to exercise options for more 737-9s just months after committing to 68 firm deliveries. It's another indication that we're ready for growth," added Pieper.

Alaska also announced new nonstop service to Belize City, Belize, in Central America from the West Coast. Belize will be the fourth country Alaska flies to from its West Coast hubs, joining Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. Routes and schedules to Belize will be announced when ticket sales begin in early June.