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Alaska Airlines to launch Anchorage-JFK route with new 737 MAX 8 – Business Traveller

*****UPDATE: This news piece was written before this weekend’s incident with one of Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft. More details on this can be found on our forum.*****

Alaska Airlines has taken delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 aircraft, with seven more of the Boeing jets set to enter the carrier’s fleet this year.

The deliveries will allow Alaska to launch a new seasonal nonstop service between Anchorage and New York JFK from 13 June, which at 3,386 miles will be the longest route in the carrier’s network.

The airline is in the midst of of overhauling its 737 fleet, with firm orders for 80 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (a mixture of -8, -9 and -10 variants), and a $130 million plan to begin revamping its existing Boeing 737-800 aircraft from late 2024.

These jets will move to a 161-seat configuration, with new seats throughout the aircraft.

The intention is to provide consistency across Alaska’s new and existing 737 fleet, although the first five 737 MAX 8 aircraft being delivered will not feature the new configuration, and are set to be retrofitted “at a later date”.

The airline also said that “Since modifications of the new configuration are expected to be completed in 2026, a subset of the -800s will receive a refresh of the existing cabin in the first half of this year to improve the guest experience”.

Commenting on the news Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products at Alaska Airlines, said:

“It’s more important than ever that we deliver a consistent product to our guests. The updates we’re making to our older Boeing aircraft will provide a more consistent guest experience on our Boeing fleet by making the cabins look and feel more like our 737-9 and 737-8 aircraft.”

In December Alaska Air Group announced plans to acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion, subject to approval by regulators and Hawaiian Holdings Inc shareholders.

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