This deal was revealed by the Seattle-based airline during its quarterly earnings call on October 19. Alaska Airlines had discontinued operations of its Airbus narrowbodies the previous month as part of its long-standing plan to operate an all-Boeing fleet of 737s.
Alaska American A321neo Deal
The airline had originally acquired the Airbus aircraft in 2016 as a result of its acquisition of Virgin America.
Alaska Airlines’ final revenue A321 flight took place on September 30, officially marking the conclusion of the dual-fleet era. As the CEO, Ben Minicucci, stated, “We have successfully closed the chapter of operating a dual fleet and are well-positioned to realize the full advantages of the single-fleet efficiencies as we move into 2024.”
The Airbus aircraft had been leased under agreements that were scheduled to run for another six to eight years.
“We have acquired the aircraft from the lessor and will subsequently transfer ownership of the planes to American,” stated Emily Halverson, Vice President of Finance.
All Boeing Fleet
Company leadership anticipates that the airline’s pilots, who have received training on Airbus aircraft, will transition to Boeing by the conclusion of the fourth quarter.
During the third quarter, Alaska Airlines also received five new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and its regional subsidiary, Horizon Air, added two more Embraer 175s to its fleet.
As for American Airlines, it currently operates a diverse fleet that includes both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Cirium fleet data shows they have 287 A321s and 131 A319s in operation.
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