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Friday, August 29, 2008

AK Completes Boeing Transition

Alaska Airlines completed its transition to an all-Boeing 737 aircraft fleet with the retirement of its last MD-80 series airplane, part of a two-year plan to increase the airline's operational efficiency and improve fuel conservation. The move will be followed in the next year by Horizon moving to an all-Bombardier Q400 fleet.
"With the last of our MD-80s retiring today and scheduled deliveries of additional new Boeing 737-800s this year, Alaska Airlines now operates one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient and technologically advanced fleets in the industry," said Bill Ayer, Alaska's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our all-Boeing fleet will make a major difference in customer comfort, fleet reliability and operating costs, at a time when it matters most."
The 737-800 burns 850 gallons of fuel per hour, versus 1,100 gallons per hour by the MD-80. A common fleet type also will result in lower costs for maintenance, training and flight crew scheduling.
As the airline's last MD-80 circled Washington state's Mount Rainer in a symbolic final flight, it was joined in the sky by a newly delivered and specially painted Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane, dubbed the "Spirit of Seattle" in tribute to the airline's now all-Boeing fleet and unique hometown partnership with the airplane manufacturer.
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