Alaska Airlines is heading in two directions simultaneously. First, they’re in the midst of a huge fleet modernization with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. To date, the airline has already taken delivery of 35 MAX 9 planes and will be receiving another 150 or more MAX 8, 9, and 10’s, with deliveries in 2023, and beyond.
Alaska Airlines, founded in 1932, has flown to Hawaii for 15 years and as a company, is just three years younger than Hawaiian Airlines. Alaska now flies to 115 destinations with 1,200 daily flights, including Maui, Kona, Kauai, and Honolulu.
Alaska Airlines’ huge fleet expansion plans.
Alaska Airlines announced last month that it upped its purchase of Boeing 737 MAX by an additional 52 planes for delivery between 2024 and 2027. That will make for a confirmed MAX fleet of 146 aircraft with rights for 105 additional planes. It will ensure both fleet replacement and growth.
Premium Recaro seating is featured throughout the fleet.
Recaro, a renowned automotive and aircraft seating brand, and Alaska Airlines have long been partners. The company designs the business/first class seats used on Alaska Airlines in addition to the economy seats with a high seatback pocket. Recaro claims their product “increases living space for passengers and reduces seat weight by allowing for a slimmer seat design and maximizes high-density layouts… Our design engineers offer lightweight solutions while leading the way with seat quality and comfort that Alaska and their passengers have come to expect.”
Alaska Airlines said, “Since 2012, Recaro has played a leading role in helping us deliver incredible comfort, convenient features, and reliability for our guests. As we continue to deliver our new fuel-efficient 737 MAX fleet and begin to refresh our 737 NG (737-800) interiors, we are appreciative of the decade-long partnership we’ve forged with Recaro.”
Nowhere is seat comfort more important than on up to 6 hour flights to and from Hawaii.
Boeing 737-800 Retrofit.
The aircraft we think of as synonymous with Alaska Airlines is their 737-800 and -900. The company flies 163 of these older Boeing NG (Next Generation) types, including variants -700, -800, and -900.
This week, Alaska’s Cabin Product Developer Christopher Dela Rosa shared on Twitter (below) his excitement about the new enhancements to Alaska’s fleet of 737-800 that your editors have flown umpteen times to and from Hawaii. These are the first photos we have seen.
Essentially, Alaska is porting the MAX fleet’s interior to their legacy NG fleet.
“Excited to welcome our first retrofitted 737-800 back into the @AlaskaAir fleet!
• Updated seat design
• Updated cabin dividers
• Updated bulkhead
• LED Lighting”
My favorite addition to the fleet. Seatback device holders. No more creative phone propping to enjoy our 1,000+ free movies & tv shows.”
These lighter-weight seats are more fuel efficient and reduce costs in addition to carbon emissions.
Recaro seating will adorn both business/first and economy class. The new economy class seat, the BL3520, has won awards for its design, including the red dot award for best product design and the Crystal Cabin Award. It is considered to be both lightweight yet cushy/comfortable, which many of today’s slimline seats are not.
Economy seats will have new features like a coat hook, individual cupholders, seatback netting for personal items, and the electronic holder shown above. The new headrest also features 6-way adjustability.
Recaro seat manufacturer’s video.
The interesting short video interview below is with Recaro’s René Dankwerth, General Manager, Aircraft Seating Americas. He talks about the fascinating innovation involved in today’s airline seating.