Tag Archives: Boeing 737-9 MAX 9

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.


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

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

flydubai loses $194 million in 2020

flydubai has issued this financial report for 2020:

flydubai remains well positioned as a result of its agility and flexibility

Annual Results for 2020

  • flydubai on May 2, 2021, announced its Annual Results for the reporting period ending 31 December 2020
  • Reports a loss of AED 712.6 million (USD $194 million)
  • flydubai reports total annual revenue of AED 2.8 billion (USD $773 million) compared to AED 6.0 billion (USD $1.6 billion) in 2019; a decrease of 52.7%
  • During the course of the year, the airline completed two financing facilities amounting to AED 283 million (USD $77 million) for general corporate purposes
  • Carries 3.2 million passengers

Key factors impacting Full-Year Results for 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic and MAX aircraft

  • In the first two months of 2020 the business fundamentals continued to be strong
  • Over a 5-week period, the airline’s operations were severely impacted by the increased closure of international borders and the suspension of flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Navigating through the pandemic: severely curtailed flight operations for 14 weeks between 24 March and 07 July
  • Coupled with the effects of the pandemic, performance was also impacted by the 22-month grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
  • This heavily impacted the financial performance from mid-March, continued into the second quarter and resulted in a loss of AED 545.2 million for the six-month period ending 30 June
  • The strategy defined at the start of the pandemic to develop alternative revenue sources and contain costs gained momentum during the third and fourth quarters minimizing the second half loss to AED 167.4 million
  • The government created a safe environment for tourism and this increased demand contributed to flydubai’s recovery in the second half of 2020. It is expected to continue in 2021

Statements on the 2020 Annual Results

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on flydubai’s 2020 Annual Results, said: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us more than any other crisis. We fully recognize that it is the priority of governments to ensure the health and wellbeing of its people. The effects of the travel restrictions that were put in place to safeguard against transmission of the virus have heavily impacted the aviation industry.”

Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai, commenting on how flydubai adapted to the changing situation, said:

“During the course of last year, we adapted quickly to the changing situation and supported governments with their repatriation efforts helping them to make arrangements for their citizens to return home.  We were also conscious of our role to contribute to the easing of the strain on the supply chain. We enabled the movement of essential goods across our network dedicating 11 aircraft for cargo operations at the peak of the pandemic.  We redesigned our customer journey and launched our passenger partnership enabling travel in a safe environment.  We were ready to launch flights as soon as the airspace opened growing our network to 65 destinations by year end; a considerable achievement in a complex period for the airline industry.  We also achieved a seat factor of 73% in spite of these challenges.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, said:

“The ongoing impact of the grounding of the MAX aircraft required our Engineering and Maintenance Team to put an active aircraft storage program in place. The resulting 18 hours of maintenance per aircraft each week placed additional demands on their already extensive workload.  We are grateful for their hard work and dedication which has ensured that the aircraft were meticulously preserved and ready to return to service in the best condition. The range and efficiency of the MAX aircraft would have been beneficial to exploring additional revenue opportunities during this challenging period.”

Note: flydubai put the Boeing 737 MAX back into service on April 8, 2021.

Francois Oberholzer, Chief Financial Officer at flydubai, commenting on the financial measures taken by the airline, said: 

“During a demanding year for the aviation industry, we optimized all possible revenue generating opportunities and we took early measures to control our costs and preserve liquidity.   We redoubled our efforts in cost improvement, deferred capital expenditure and raised new financing facilities.  The proactive steps we took at the start of the pandemic enabled the airline to end the year with cash assets, including pre-delivery payments, of AED 2.5 billion.”

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the 2020 Full-Year Results, said:

“The challenges we faced in 2020 meant that there were difficult decisions to be made. The priority however was to protect our employees. I fully recognize that in order to be able to achieve this our employees had to take periods of unpaid leave or work at reduced salary levels. I fully recognize that this created some hardship, but it has meant that we have been able to maintain employment levels.  I would also like to thank our financial partners, our lessors and suppliers for the understanding and support they have shown towards us.  We managed the combined effects of the pandemic and continued grounding of the MAX aircraft on our operations, but undoubtedly they have had a severe impact on our Results.”

Key performance and operational figures

Reporting period for

31 December 2020

Reporting period for

31 December 2019

Key performance figures for:
Total annual revenue AED 2.8 billion (USD 773 million) AED 6.0 billion (USD 1.6 billion)
Total annual loss for 2020


Total annual profit for 2019

(AED 712.6 million)

(USD 194 million)


AED 198.2 million

(USD 53.9 million)

Total cash assets including pre-delivery payments AED 2.5 billion AED 2.6 billion
RPKM (% growth) (63.4%) (11.4%)
ASKM (million)  9,594 25,415
Passenger numbers 3.2 million 9.6 million
Ancillary revenue

% of revenue comprising baggage, cargo and inflight sales

13.4% 8.9%
Fuel costs

% of total annual operating costs.

Reduction mainly due to the quantity consumed

14.6%  25.8 % 
Fleet size 51 59
Average aircraft age 5 years and 1 month 4 years and 4 months
Number of flights operated 27,450 73,233
Total number of destinations on the network 65 93
Total number of countries on the network 37 47
Total number of employees 3,796 3,922
Number of employees on unpaid or voluntary leave 1,092

Outlook statement for 2021

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, commenting on the outlook for 2021, said:

“We have shown that flydubai is well placed to identify new opportunities and get up and running quickly by deploying our narrow-body aircraft.  We expect trading conditions to remain challenging and the business fundamentals remain strong. This is recognized by our shareholder and we are grateful for their continued confidence and commitment.”

“We would like to acknowledge the government’s response to the pandemic and the efforts that have been made to allow the travel and leisure sectors to reopen.  Precautionary safety measures are in place on board our aircraft, at the airport and at hotels to keep us all safe whilst allowing the industry to recover.”

“Through the efforts we are making across our customer journey and the launch of new destinations for the summer travel is possible and we are there to support our customers to realize their travel aspirations.”

flydubai destinations from Dubai:


Above Copyright Photo: Flydubai Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 A6-FNC (msn 60983) BFI (Steve Bailey). Image: 944632.
flydubai aircraft slide show:

United customers can now schedule COVID-19 tests and be automatically cleared for travel

United to return the MAX to service on February 11, 2021 from IAH and DEN hubs

United Airlines made this announcement:

Since the Travel-Ready Center launched in January, United customers have been able to easily access testing or vaccine requirements needed for travel destinations, upload completed testing results and vaccine records as well as have them verified, all within the United App. Today, the industry-leading digital platform gets even better as customers can now choose from more than 200 COVID-19 testing providers across the country, book appointments and receive confirmation whether their test results meet their destination’s requirements. Once the test is validated, customers will see a status indicator informing them that they are “travel-ready” and receive their mobile boarding pass. United is the only airline that offers its customers these services as part of an integrated experience within its app and website and since launch, the airline has processed more than 275,000 COVID-19 tests through the Travel-Ready Center.

“We continue to look for innovative solutions that make travel easier and safer for our customers and employees,” said United’s Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist. “This new feature enables customers to travel with confidence knowing they can quickly locate a testing provider if they need one, schedule an appointment and get the results they need – all within the United Travel-Ready Center experience.”

Interactive Travel Map

United customers will have access to more than 200 testing sites in the TrustAssure network, including testing sites within United’s hubs of ChicagoHoustonNew York/NewarkLos Angeles and San Francisco as well as those located at many drug store and pharmacy chains. In the weeks and months ahead, the airline plans to expand availability to more U.S. cities, and add access to international testing sites for customers flying to the U.S. This process was designed with privacy in mind so that limited personal data is involved.

This new and updated ability to schedule a COVID-19 test and upload results directly within the Travel-Ready Center is just one of the many industry-first solutions United has introduced to make travel easier and safer during the pandemic. United was the first airline to offer COVID-19 tests to customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii, and the first to launch a free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program for customers traveling from Newark to London. United also was the first domestic airline to require customers to perform a self-health assessment prior to flying.

Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N1800B (N27519) (msn 43459) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 952214.

United Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines commits to carbon, waste and water goals for 2025, announces path to net zero by 2040

Delivered on January 24, 2021

Alaska Airlines today announced its commitment and roadmap to reduce the company’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040, and commitments across carbon, waste, and water impacts by 2025. Today’s announcement included the release of Alaska’s 2020 LIFT Sustainability Report detailing the company’s broader climate change strategy, including waste and water initiatives.

Alaska, together with its regional subsidiary Horizon Air, identified the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as the company’s most important opportunity for environmental action.

Alaska’s roadmap to 2040 includes five focus areas to decarbonize air travel by 2040 – fleet renewal, operational efficiency, sustainable aviation fuel, novel propulsion and high-quality carbon offsetting technology.

Alaska’s roadmap to 2040 includes five focus areas to reach net-zero emissions:

  • Fleet renewal
  • Operational efficiency
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
  • Novel propulsion
  • Credible, high-quality carbon offsetting technology

With a recent Boeing 737 MAX order, Alaska’s newest aircraft have 22% better fuel-efficiency on a seat-by-seat basis than the aircraft they replace. Alaska is a leader in using advanced technology to improve flight efficiency, and will continue to standardize best practices, and expand use of first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to plan optimize routes. As part of its near-term goals, the airline will cut in half emissions of its ground services equipment by 2025 through the purchase and use of electric ground equipment and other renewables.

Long-term plans for achieving net-zero emissions include expanding the market for SAF and exploring and advancing novel propulsion approaches that support electrification technology for regional flying, that are either not dependent on fossil fuels, or more efficient than current methods. And because aviation is one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonize, Alaska will also work with science and technical advisory Carbon Direct to identify and vet credible, high-quality carbon offsetting technologies to close any remaining gaps on the path to net-zero.

“After a difficult year, this is an exciting time for our company, as we return to growth while embedding sustainability even deeper in our culture, set bold goals and collaborate with innovative partners to keep our company, our communities, and our environment strong and healthy for the long term,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of public affairs and sustainability. “The pandemic sharpened the clarity of our purpose and led us a stronger path forward. But we also know we can’t do this alone and that we must work together with government, manufacturers, innovators and other industry partners to decarbonize aviation.”

Joining the Amazon Climate Pledge
As a result of its 2040 net-zero emissions strategy, Alaska Airlines today signed onto The Climate Pledge, a commitment to achieving net-zero-carbon 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

In addition, the company also announced five-year goals to reduce waste through more sustainable packaging and restarting industry-leading inflight recycling post-COVID, while offsetting 100% of its operational water use through investments in high-quality habitat projects.

22,000 employees engaged to help reduce climate impact
As a reflection of its importance, Alaska Airlines this year included a carbon emissions target in the incentive pay program for all 22,000 employees. Additionally, long-term executive compensation is now linked to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N913AK (msn 44079) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 953062.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Boeing recommends operators of some 737 MAX airplanes temporarily remove them from service to address a potential electrical issue

Boeing has issued a recommendation to 16 customers (including American, Southwest and United) to remove and inspect certain Boeing 737 MAX aircraft due to a “potential electrical issue”. This is apparently due to a production issue when the aircraft were built.

The FAA issued this statement:

Boeing recommends operators of some 737 MAX airplanes temporarily remove them from service to address a potential electrical issue. The FAA will ensure the issue is addressed. Passengers should contact airlines about possible flight delays and cancellations.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing has recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations. The recommendation is being made to allow for verification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system.

We are working closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on this production issue. We are also informing our customers of specific tail numbers affected and we will provide direction on appropriate corrective actions.

American Airlines has grounded 17 MAX aircraft.

American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N378SC (msn 44471) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 952213.

Above Copyright Photo: American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N378SC (msn 44471) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 952213.

Southwest Airlines has removed 30 of its 58 MAX aircraft for inspections.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8701Q (msn 42554) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953439.

Above Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8701Q (msn 42554) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953439.

United Airlines has grounded 16 of its 30 MAX aircraft according to USA Today.

United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N1780B (N27520) (msn 64499) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 951068.

Above Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N1780B (N27520) (msn 64499) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 951068.

Boeing and Alaska Airlines finalize order for 737 MAX jets

Boeing and Alaska Airlines have announced the companies have completed an agreement for 23 737-9 airplanes and 15 options. With this agreement, the carrier’s 737 MAX order book, including options and lease commitments, stands at 120 airplanes.

This deal was first announced in December 2020 as a commitment and will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.

Alaska Airlines received its first Boeing 737-9 in January and began revenue service on March 1. Its second 737-9 entered service on March 18, with two additional 737-9s scheduled to begin revenue service next week.

Delivered on January 24, 2021

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N913AK (msn 44079) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 953062.

The airline is embarking on a fleet modernization program to further improve the efficiency and sustainability of its operations. The 737-9 – equipped with new, more fuel-efficient engines and improved aerodynamics – will use 20% less fuel and reduce emissions by 20% per seat compared to airplanes it replaces.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Airlines inaugurates Boeing 737-9 MAX service

Alaska Airlines on March 1, 2021 inaugurated Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 into revenue service from the Seattle/Tacoma hub to San Diego.

Besides this route, Alaska Airlines will initially operate the new 737-9 MAX 9 between Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles.

Alaska’s second 737-9 MAX is expected to start service later in March.

Alaska Airlines commented on its plans to inaugurate the new type:

Teams from across various divisions at Alaska will now follow a strict readiness timeline that guides the actions that must be taken before the start of passenger flights. The process – involving rigorous rounds of test flying, verifying and specific preparations – will take five weeks:

  • Maintenance technicians will undergo training to become even more acquainted with the new aircraft. They will receive at least 40 hours of “differences training,” which distinguishes the variations between the new MAX and the airline’s existing 737 NG fleet. Certain technicians will receive up to 40 additional hours of specialized training focused on the plane’s engines and avionics systems.
  • 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. These “proving flights” are conducted to confirm our safety assessments and those of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and to ensure a full understanding of the plane’s capabilities in different climates and terrain.
  • 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.

Alaska announced a restructured order agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to receive a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft in the next four years, with options for an additional 52 planes. The airline is scheduled to receive 13 planes this year; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. The agreement incorporates Alaska’s announcement last November to lease 13 737-9 aircraft as part of a separate transaction.

These 68 aircraft will largely replace Alaska’s Airbus fleet.

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

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


Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Current livery, Boeing):

United is moving its 14 Boeing 737-9 MAX jets to Goodyear, AZ for storage

United Airlines has announced it is moving its 14 Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 aircraft to desert storage in Goodyear, AZ (near Phoenix).

The move should be completed by mid September.

United previously cancelled all revenue flights of the type in its schedule through November 3 (now extended to December 19). This is likely to be extended as the type remains grounded (except for ferry flights).

United Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing, current):

Related articles on the MAX:

Financial hit from 737 MAX will not slow appetite for services deals – Boeing CEO

Russian company is first to sue Boeing to cancel 737 Max order and claim damages


CNBC: United CEO says he’s not sure travelers will want to fly a Boeing 737 MAX

From CNBC:

“United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on Thursday said he’s under no assumption that all passengers will feel comfortable flying on a Boeing 737 MAX plane anytime soon.”

“We will be incredibly communicative to all our customers and very transparent when that aircraft comes back,” Munoz told CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at New York’s LaGuardia airport, where the carrier is opening up a new terminal. Munoz added, “The first and foremost objective is to not assume everyone will want to fly, or assume everyone will get over it.”

Read the full story and video.

United Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations into August

United Airlines has announced it will extend all cancellations in its schedule of the Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 through August 9.

The company has grounded its 14 MAX 9s which translates to about 40-45 cancelled flights on a daily basis.