For years, every Alaska Airlines plane bore a slogan on the fuselage below the flight deck which stated, “Proudly All Boeing.” That changed after the merger with Virgin America, which had an exclusive Airbus fleet. But Alaska is dropping hints that it is well on its way to returning to an all-Boeing fleet.
Alaska Airlines Moves Toward All-Boeing Fleet
In a thoughtful piece in The Motley Fool, Adam Levine-Weinberg notes several key facts:
- All but 10 of Alaska’s Airbus planes are leased
- 2/3 of those leases are scheduled to expire between 2021 and 2023
- During the pandemic, Alaska has “permanently parked” 12 Airbus jets, including its entire fleet of A319s
- 240 Airbus pilots have been retrained to fly Boeing 737
- Alaska’s 30 orders for the A320neo is cancelable
Furthermore, in a SEC filing last week concerning Alaska’s election to borrow $1.9 billion as part of the CARES Act, Alaska noted:
“Management has authorized a plan to retire 10 owned Airbus A320 aircraft earlier than previously scheduled.”
There’s no further information provided, particularly when those retirements will occur, but the move is startling considering the 10 A320s Alaska owns are only 4-5 years old.
Last week, I wrote how Boeing is trying to hawk its surplus Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on Delta. Perhaps the focus should be on Alaska Airlines instead.
Indeed, Alaska already has 37 737 MAX aircraft on order and could easily add to it, likely at fire sale pricing, to replace the remaining Airbus aircraft.
> Read More: Boeing Tries To Hawk Surplus 737 MAX To Delta
Alaska Airlines is on-track to a return to an all Boeing fleet by 2025. “Fleet simplification” is a reasonable goal, but retiring brand new Airbus A320s seems like such a shame.
image: Alaska Airlines