Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines adds new flights to sun-filled spots this winter

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Alaska Airlines is now offering several new nonstop routes to make it easier to escape to places known for wintertime sun and fun:

  • Just in time for the holidays, we’ll begin weekly, seasonal service between San Francisco and Cancun on Dec. 16, offering our Bay Area guests a convenient way to get away to eastern Mexico.
  • We’ll launch two new flights from Portland on Dec. 16 to Tampa and New Orleans – the only nonstops from the Rose City to these two Southern destinations. These routes are also seasonal service, each with several flights a week.
  • On Nov. 19, we’ll say howdy to another new route connecting Palm Springs and Austin. It’s the only nonstop flight between the heart of the Coachella Valley and the Texas capital with flights five times a week.

“Since March, our bookings for leisure travel have exceeded what they were before the pandemic. For many of our guests, there’s an increased confidence that comes after being vaccinated. They were cooped up for well over a year – now they’re ready to relax, enjoy and explore,” said Brett Catlin, vice president of network and alliances at Alaska Airlines. “With these new routes, we can whisk them away to destinations that have a warm sparkle in the wintertime.”

 

Start Date End

Date

City Pair  

Departs

 

Arrives

Frequency Aircraft
Nov. 19 April 18 Austin – Palm Springs 9 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 5x/Weekly E175
Nov. 19 April 18 Palm Springs – Austin 11:05 a.m. 4:10 p.m. 5x/Weekly E175
Dec. 16 April 18 San Francisco –Cancun 9:40 a.m. 5:55 p.m. Weekly 737
Dec. 16  

April 18

Cancun –

San Francisco

11 a.m. 2 p.m. Weekly 737
Dec. 16 April 18 Portland – Tampa 12:10 p.m. 8:29 p.m. 4x/Weekly 737
Dec. 16 April 18 Tampa – Portland 8 a.m. 11 a.m. 4x/Weekly 737
Dec. 16  

April 18

Portland –

New Orleans

12 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 3x/Weekly 737
Dec. 16  

April 18

 New Orleans –

Portland

8 a.m. 11:10 a.m. 3x/Weekly 737

All flight times are local.

These leisure routes are part of a series of new ones we’ve recently announced. With the addition of our new nonstop service to Belize from Los Angeles and Seattle this November, our guests have access to 42 more nonstops now than they did before the pandemic.

Alaska Airlines to join the Boeing ecoDemonstrator Program with a special 737-9 logo jet

Boeing made this announcement:

Boeing and Alaska Airlines announced today they are partnering on the latest Boeing ecoDemonstrator program and will flight test about 20 technologies on a new 737-9 to enhance the safety and sustainability of air travel.

In flights beginning this summer, Boeing and Alaska will test a new halon-free fire-extinguishing agent that significantly reduces effects on the ozone layer, evaluate an engine nacelle designed to reduce noise and assess cabin sidewalls made from recycled material, among other projects.

Since 2012, the ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking nearly 200 promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in the air to address challenges for the aviation industry and improve the passenger experience.

In five months of ecoDemonstrator flight tests, Boeing and Alaska will work with nine other partners to test new technologies. After tests are complete, the airplane will be configured for passenger service and delivered to Alaska. The program’s technologies include:

  • Testing a new fire extinguishing agent for aircraft that significantly reduces effects on the ozone layer. This material is intended to replace Halon 1301, which is no longer being produced.
  • Collaborating with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to measure greenhouse-gas levels in the atmosphere to support the agency’s climate modeling and long-term forecasting.
  • Evaluating acoustic lining concepts within the engine nacelle that may reduce noise on current engines and will inform designs for next-generation models.
  • Recycling carbon composite material from Boeing 777X wing production into a cabin sidewall panel. This durable, light material would reduce fuel use and carbon emissions, and supports Boeing’s goals for sustainable manufacturing.

Boeing’s current and future airplanes leverage a number of technologies evaluated in previous ecoDemonstrator testing, including:

  • Advanced Technology winglets on the 737 MAX family that reduce fuel use and emissions.
  • iPad apps that provide real-time weather and other data to pilots, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. These apps complement digital analytics services Boeing offers to help airlines optimize fleet utilization.
  • A camera system on the new 777X that will enhance safety by helping pilots avoid obstacles on the ground.

ecoDemonstrator test flights are flown on a blend of petroleum-based and sustainable aviation fuel. SAF is in regular use today, reduces life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80%, and offers the most immediate and greatest potential to reduce emissions over the next 20 to 30 years in all commercial aviation markets.

In January this year, Boeing committed to make sure its commercial airplanes are capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030. The company also plans to work with regulatory authorities and across the industry to raise the current 50% blending limit for expanded use of SAF. Boeing’s 2018 ecoDemonstrator 777 Freighter made history as the world’s first commercial airliner to fly on 100% sustainable fuel.

More from NOAA:

NOAA and Boeing are teaming up to evaluate the best placement for a NOAA greenhouse gas sampling system on a commercial jet by testing options on a new Boeing 737 as part of Boeing’s 2021 ecoDemonstrator flying test bed program. This is a first step toward an expansion of NOAA’s global atmospheric sampling network to include commercial airliners in the U.S. and International airlines in these critical data-gathering efforts.

In the coming weeks, scientists with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory will oversee installation of three different air sampling inlet configurations on an Alaska Airlines 737-9, one of about 20 different technologies to be included in Boeing’s annual ecoDemonstrator program.

 

Image
NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network measures gas concentrations air samples from more than 50 ground based sampling locations around the world. NOAA also contracts with a small number of civilian pilots to collect airborne samples. Credit: NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory

 

During test flights this summer and fall, NOAA scientists will be focused on identifying the best way to sample air outside the commercial airplane to minimize contamination. Air for greenhouse gas measurements will be collected from a duct that feeds outside air into the airplane’s interior, and from two inlets mounted in a window plug for comparison.

Goal: standardizing inlet location

“The ecoDemonstrator program provides NOAA an unparalleled opportunity to test our greenhouse gas sampling system on a civilian airliner,” said Colm Sweeney, lead scientist for the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory’s aircraft measurements program. “Standardizing the location and installation of greenhouse gas monitoring instruments on commercial aircraft will be an important first step in expanding our sampling network to provide data for scientists and policymakers interested in understanding greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.”

For the past 10 years, Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has taken nearly 200 promising technologies out of the lab and tested them in the air to address challenges for the aviation industry and improve the passenger experience. Each year, the company selects a different aircraft for ecoDemonstrator flight testing by partnering with an airline or using a Boeing-owned aircraft. The NOAA project is one of several technologies being flight-tested this year that are related to environmental sustainability.

 

Image
Hiring private contractors to sample greenhouse gases from the air is an important aspect of NOAA’s climate research. Here, Paolo Wilczak pilots a sampling flight over southeastern Connecticut on April 25, 2020, as part of the East Coast Outflow field mission. The Global Monitoring Laboratory hopes to add civilian airliners to its sampling fleet. Credit: Paolo Wilczak, Scientific Aviation

 

The NOAA Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network measures the atmospheric distribution and trends of the three main, long-term drivers of climate change – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – along with carbon monoxide, an indicator of air pollution. The network collects samples from four baseline atmospheric observatories, as well as from 50 partner institutions and trained volunteers around the world. Since 1992, NOAA has contracted with a handful of private pilots who have collected air samples at a range of altitudes and locations across North America.

Data collected by aircraft provide a view of how the large-scale horizontal and vertical distribution of the measured gases change throughout a given year over the continent. This allows scientists to estimate the contribution of both natural and manmade emissions from the North America continent to the global atmosphere.

Added measurements would improve climate models

While NOAA’s current network of 14 U.S. land-based sites provide valuable scientific data for estimates made by models and satellites, scientists need to increase the number and location of samples to directly measure changes in natural and human-made emissions, and the effectiveness of policies designed to reduce climate change impacts.

NOAA’s ultimate goal is to install greenhouse gas measurement equipment on in-service aircraft to enhance its existing long-term greenhouse gas dataset, which informs policymakers and climate researchers around the world. U.S. commercial aircraft routinely collect weather observations, particularly vertical profiles of temperature and relative humidity captured on takeoff and landing, which have become increasingly important to improving short-term numerical weather models that forecasters rely on to predict severe weather.

“Greenhouse gas measurements made from U.S. commercial airliners would help scientists verify the effectiveness of mitigation efforts in urban areas near major metropolitan airports, and changes in natural emissions coming from melting permafrost near remote airports in the high Arctic,” said Kathryn McKain, the lead scientist for NOAA’s Commercial Aircraft Sampling Network.

Alaska Airlines to resume full schedule at Paine Field by spring 2022

"Honoring those who serve"

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

With increasing confidence that air travel is on a steady climb to return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming year, Alaska Airlines is planning to resume our full schedule of 18 daily nonstop departures at Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport by spring 2022, possibly earlier. The airport in Everett, north of Seattle, remains very popular with our guests.

As part of the path to recovery, we’ll have 13 daily departures at Paine Field later this fall – up from five now – as we bring back more destinations, increase flight frequencies and even add an exciting new route to Tucson, Arizona.

On June 17, Alaska will fly to five destinations from Everett: Las Vegas, Orange County, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco. Here’s more of what’s ahead at Paine Field:

  • On Sept. 8, we’ll jump to 11 daily departures to seven destinations as we add two flights a day to both Boise and Spokane, along with second daily flights to both Las Vegas and Phoenix.
  • On Oct. 7, we bring back our seasonal flight to Palm Springs.
  • On Nov. 19, we’ll launch our new seasonal service to Tucson, another popular getaway for wintertime warmth in the desert.

That means, just in time for the holiday travel season, Alaska will have 13 daily departures to nine destinations from the north Puget Sound airport that’s easy to get in and out of.

Horizon Air provides the all-jet service for our flights that serve Paine Field with the Embraer 175 aircraft, which features First Class and Premium Class, and only window and aisle seating – there are no middle seats. Guests can enjoy hundreds of free movies and TV shows available for viewing on personal devices; free texting on most flights; and Wi-Fi connectivity for purchase.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N651QX (msn 17000812) (Honoring those who serve) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947388.

Alaska Horizon aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines is coming to Belize

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

Looking to escape to a new tropical destination from the West Coast? Alaska Airlines is expanding its horizons to the breathtaking beaches, idyllic islands and ancient culture of Belize beginning this fall.

Seasonal service will operate four times a week between Los Angeles and Belize City (BZE), and twice weekly between Seattle/Tacoma and Belize City, beginning Nov. 19 – just in time for the holiday season.

Xunantunich – Mayan Ruins

Flight times based on local times

The Great Blue Hole, Belize

Belize will be the fourth country Alaska flies to from its West Coast hubs, joining CanadaMexico and Costa Rica.

Alaska Airlines and Airspace Intelligence announce first-of-its-kind partnership to optimize air traffic flow with artificial intelligence and machine learning

Alaska Airlines and Airspace Intelligence announced today the signing of a multi-year contract for the use of Flyways AI™, an industry-changing platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to assist dispatchers in making flight operations more efficient and sustainable by optimizing routes and improving the predictability and flow of airline traffic. Alaska is the first airline worldwide to adopt the technology.

The use of an AI-powered flight monitoring and routing platform that aids in critical decisions is a first in the U.S. air transportation industry. It allows the airline and its employees to plan the most efficient routes by giving dispatchers new tools to make informed decisions quickly. Using machine-learning models of the National Airspace System, Flyways predicts future scenarios and manages exceptions network-wide by processing millions of data inputs quickly and with even greater precision.

“Flyways AI has transformed how Alaska Airlines approaches route planning and optimization, enabling our highly skilled dispatchers to work even smarter to deliver the safest and most efficient routes to our pilots, saving time and carbon emissions, mitigating congestion and creating a better experience for our guests,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of public affairs and sustainability for Alaska Airlines. “Airspace Intelligence  is a true partner in implementing Flyways to deliver results in Alaska’s operating environment for innovation, safety and sustainability.”

“We are so grateful that Alaska is the first airline customer to deploy the Flyways AI platform,” said Phillip Buckendorf, CEO of Airspace Intelligence. “Alaska’s commitment to innovation and partnership these past two years made the organization a perfect fit as a foundational airline and launch partner.”

The commitment to a continued partnership comes after an initial six-month trial program, during which Alaska’s dispatchers used the new AI-powered flight prediction information to help them plan, monitor, and make recommendations for rerouting flights to avoid issues like congested airspace and bad weather. Flyways found an opportunity to reduce miles and fuel use for 64% of mainline flights, of which dispatchers evaluated and accepted 32% of the Flyways recommendations.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the top drivers of technology today and, for the first time, have been applied to the airline flight planning environment,” said Pasha Saleh, flight operations strategy and innovation director for Alaska Airlines. “Alaska’s use of Flyways in just six months, even with significantly depressed flying due to COVID-19, enabled us to save 480,000 gallons of fuel and avoid 4,600 tons of carbon emissions.”

The challenge of flight route planning
 Safely planning the most efficient route for each flight is an operation performed by dispatchers, who work in the airline’s Network Operations Center. Dispatchers work with pilots to ensure the safe routing and operation of a flight. When planning a route from origin to destination, dispatchers consider the current and predicted weather, reported air turbulence, aircraft performance, safety policies, air-traffic-control compliance and traffic volume. It is an incredibly complex workflow.

Existing airline computer systems don’t have the ability to compile all of the various information and evolving conditions into one cohesive source or map. Those systems do not take other flight traffic into account, give limited insights into future conditions, and are without predictive capabilities.

About the Flyways AI Platform
Flyways AI is a 4D mapping, predictive and recommendation platform for commercial air operations that relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The system autonomously evaluates the operational safety, ATC compliance, and efficiency of an airline’s planned and active flights. When it finds a better route around turbulence or a more efficient route, it provides actionable recommendations to flight dispatchers. The dispatcher then decides whether to accept and implement the recommended solution. Dispatchers always make the final call, in accordance with existing FAA protocols.

The system looks at all scheduled and active flights across the U.S., scanning air traffic systemically rather than focusing on single flights. It treats air traffic more like the way mapping applications look at ground traffic — as a dynamic and constantly changing ecosystem of moving objects.

By applying machine learning, Airspace Intelligence created prediction models of the U.S. air space that allow the platform to predict how weather, traffic and other constraints impact flights. This kind of predictive modeling allows Flyways to provide its airlines partners with the ability to  “look into the future,” as far as eight-plus hours ahead. The system helps the operational decision-makers streamline traffic flow, thereby reducing fuel burn and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions. This supports Alaska’s path to reducing carbon emissions and reduces fuel cost.

In addition, Flyways offers the user a powerful, streamlined experience, presented as a dynamic and coherent 4D map that is easy to understand.

“Our mission is to help our customers improve the predictability of their highly complex and dynamically changing flight operations in the United States National Airspace System (NAS),” said Buckendorf. “We do this by applying the latest advances in artificial intelligence. Our AI platform gives enhanced levels of predictive situational awareness, to augment the quality, speed and precision of human decision-makers.”

More from Alaska Airlines blog:

What might be one of the most significant uses of technology to come into the aviation industry in 30 years, is happening right now … about eighty feet off the ground in Alaska Airlines’ Network Operations Center. It’s here, on the sixth floor of “The Hub” in Seattle, where Alaska dispatchers are working to determine the safest and most efficient ways to fly our aircraft from point A to point B.

“We’re responsible for selecting the route, determining the fuel and working around weather to get our flights and guests where they need to go safely, as smoothly and efficiently as possible,” said Brad Ward, a longtime Alaska dispatcher responsible for working with pilots to ensure the safe routing and operation of a flight.

“Dispatchers have relied on legacy computer systems for years to build one flight at a time. Now, with new tools, we’re able to make informed decisions quickly with even greater precision,” said Ward.

Flyways AI is a new platform from a software-first aerospace company called Airspace Intelligence. The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help dispatchers plan the most efficient routes around the continental U.S., and continuously monitor flights. This is a first in the U.S. transportation industry, and likely the world. AI and machine learning (ML) helps dispatchers sort through multiple sources of information to calculate the best way to get you to your destination quickly and safely. Think Waze GPS navigational app, but for airplanes.

Airspace Intelligence and Alaska have been working together for two years to best implement Flyways across the continental U.S. so that it delivers the best results in Alaska’s operating environment for innovation, safety and sustainability.

“Alaska’s pilots have a long history of operating the safest and most efficient routes in the industry, beginning with our pioneering work on Required Navigation Performance when our pilots became the world’s first to fly space-based approaches versus traditional terrestrial routes,” said Pasha Saleh, flight operations strategy and innovation director for Alaska Airlines. “Flyways is part of that continued journey. It allows us to look at everything, to optimize all available data and plan routes in real time to get our guests to their destinations smoother, safer and faster.”

Optimizing data, minimizing carbon, getting you there faster

With today’s rapidly evolving AI capabilities and our ever-present goal of reducing carbon emissions, the time is right to invest in tools that enable dispatchers to work with pilots to ensure each flight’s safe routing and operation and help us achieve our operational and sustainability goals.

When determining a flight path for an aircraft, several stakeholders are involved: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the dispatcher(s). Together, they provide routing options and recommendations based on a handful of data points and up to eight sources like weather reports and restricted air updates. Dispatchers collect the data from these FAA-approved sources before departure and build each flight’s time and flight paths.

Flyways simplifies the process, but it also enables a dispatcher to process a complex array of variables seamlessly – and predictive information about the future – that is otherwise a challenge to take in simultaneously.

Flyways understands how and when traffic jams occur and uses predictive modeling to recommend routes that optimize our overall network, not just one flight. The tool helps our dispatchers select routes that avoid bad weather, turbulence, restricted airspace and airspace congestion enabling them to do what they do best. It also consolidates multiple tools into a single dispatch system, eliminating different sources for information. And the dispatcher uses their judgment to determine when and how to use the Flyways optimized routes while always ensuring that safety comes first.

“Our mission is to improve the predictability of the highly complex and dynamically changing flight operations in the National Airspace System,” said Phillip Buckendorf, CEO of Airspace Intelligence. “We do this by applying the latest advances in AI to empower the quality, speed, and precision of human decision-makers.”

How will you notice a difference when flying Alaska?

As we all get back to more flying, Flyways will help our dispatchers deliver the safest and most efficient routes to our pilots, saving time and carbon emissions and getting our guests where they want to go faster and with less turbulence.

Imagine you’re on a flight from Seattle to New York City. Before the flight leaves, Flyways recommends a route to the dispatcher that skirts a storm currently sitting over Minnesota, saving minutes on your arrival time. And, as your flight prepares to descend, it does so on an arrival stream that Flyways has previously forecast will be least congested.

While minutes may seem insignificant when calculated into a full day of travel, every minute counts for guests connecting to flights. Plus, the amount of jet fuel consumed every minute is staggering.

In a six-month pilot with Flyways, Alaska reduced its fuel use by 480,000 gallons – reducing nearly 4,600 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. This was conducted during a time when flying overall was significantly depressed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A perfect fit for our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2040 given the foundational step in that pathway to net-zero is operational efficiency. A smoother flight for our guests = a more sustainable flight for our planet. This is technology we can all get behind.

Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci tells NBC News’ Lester Holt that leisure bookings are “back to pre-pandemic levels”

Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci tells NBC News’ Lester Holt that leisure bookings are “back to pre-pandemic levels,” explaining “With the pace of vaccinations increasing, we saw a significant step change in March. We actually for the first time achieved positive cash flow in March after 12 months of burning cash and so things are looking more optimistic.”

He added, “We believe that on the domestic leisure side, we’re pretty much 100% and for to get us back to 2019 levels, we’re forecasting to be back there by the summer of 2022.”

He also said it would be easier for the airline if the government eventually dropped the mask requirement on airplanes, explaining, “I think as vaccinations increase, I think we’ve proven scientifically that the environment onboard the aircraft is safe with HEPA filters and the way the air circulates on the airplane…I’m hoping that the government does relax that policy. But for now, it is a federally mandated requirement. And we’ll comply with that.

The interview airs tonight on NBC Nightly News with Lester Hot at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT. Holt will anchor tonight’s broadcast from Seattle, the fourth day of the newscast’s “Across America” series.  For more on “Across America”.

Credit: Tonight on NBC Nightly News.

Alaska Airlines adds Cincinnati today

Delivered on February 20, 2021

Alaska Airlines made this announcement:

As travelers take to the skies again, Alaska Airlines is ready to provide its guests with a brand-new destination: Cincinnati. Daily nonstop service between Seattle and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) starts today, May 20. The pandemic delayed the original start of service of Aug. 18, 2020.

Cincinnati becomes Alaska’s 95th nonstop destination from Seattle. With CVG Airport located in Northern Kentucky, this is the first time Alaska will have regularly scheduled service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
May 20 Seattle – Cincinnati 10:10 a.m. 5:35 p.m. Daily 737
May 20 Cincinnati – Seattle 6:35 p.m. 8:25 p.m. Daily 737

Flight times based on local times

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N918AK (msn 44081) SEA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 953800.
Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Air Group orders nine new E175 aircraft for operation with Horizon Air

Embraer has agreed the sale of nine new E175 jets to Alaska Air Group and its subsidiary Horizon Air. The E175 aircraft will fly exclusively with Alaska Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA).

Alaska Airlines, a new member of the oneworld Alliance, currently has 62 Embraer E175 jets in their fleet, operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. The 76-seat aircraft will be delivered in Alaska’s livery and three-class configuration, starting in 2022.

SkyWest Airlines orders eight new E175 aircraft for operation with Alaska Airlines

Embraer has agreed to the sale of eight new E175 jets to SkyWest, Inc. for operation with Alaska Airlines, adding to the 32 SkyWest E175 jets SkyWest already flies for Alaska. The E175 aircraft will fly exclusively with Alaska Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA).

Alaska Airlines, a new member of the oneworld Alliance, currently has 62 Embraer E175 jets in their fleet, operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. The 76-seat aircraft will be delivered in Alaska’s livery and three-class configuration, starting in 2022.

Alaska to grow its fleet by 30 aircraft, will add Belize City

First MAX 9 for Alaska Airlines, in service March 1, 2021 SEA-SAN

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

With recovery on the horizon, Alaska Airlines is taking advantage of strategic opportunities by adding 30 mainline and regional aircraft to fulfill capacity needs in the years ahead. And as more travelers search for additional leisure getaways, Alaska will begin flying to Belize City, Belize.

Growing the Alaska Air Group fleet

Alaska expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by the summer of 2022, which will require more aircraft across Air Group. To prime the airline for growth, Alaska is taking the following actions:

  • Adding 17 new Embraer 175 jets to the regional fleet in 2022 and 2023 – nine to be operated by Horizon Air and eight by SkyWest.
  • Exercising options for 13 Boeing 737-9 MAX deliveries in 2023 and 2024.

"Honoring Those Who Serve"

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N651QX (msn 17000812) (Honoring those who serve) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947748.

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.

Photo: Alaska Airlines. In order to fly the 737-9, pilots are required to take eight hours of flight simulator and computer-based training that focus on the operation of the MAX. The pilot training program for the MAX is more extensive than what’s required by the FAA.

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.

Alaska adds Belize to its international destinations

Alaska also announced today 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.

Video:

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N915AK (msn 44080) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947423.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show: