Alaska Airlines, launch customer for Boeing's 737-900, is back in the market for an improved version of The Boeing Co.'s largest 737.
The airline on Tuesday announced it is ordering 13 Boeing 737-900ERs, an extended range version of the original plane. The model has a range of about 3,680 miles nonstop, about 500 miles farther than the original 737-900, of which Alaska has 12.
The 900ER also accommodates more passengers than the 900 because it uses a flat rear pressure bulkhead in the fuselage instead of the curved one in the 900. In Alaska’s two-class configuration, the 737-900ER is expected to seat between 178 and 184 passengers, Boeing said. Alaska’s 737-900s have 172 seats.
Along with orders for two additional 737-800s, the Alaska order is worth $1.3 billion at list prices. Airlines frequently negotiate discounts from those list prices.
The new 900ERs will be delivered beginning 2013. Alaska plans to use them on heavily utilized routes on the West Coast and on transcontinental flights.