Boeing warms to Alaskan order

Alaska Airlines has placed an order worth an estimated $2.3 billion at list prices with Boeing for 35 Next-Generation 737-800 passenger aeroplanes.

The Seattle-based airline also holds options for an additional 15 aeroplanes which, if exercised, would increase the order value by $983 million. Alaska Airlines also took purchase rights for another 50 aeroplanes, making this among the largest orders for 737-800s.

Three of the 35 aeroplanes announced yesterday were booked earlier this year, with the airline unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.

All the aeroplanes on firm order are to be delivered between 2006 and 2011. Alaska now operates 34 Next-Generation 737 aeroplanes consisting of 22 737-700s, two 737-800s and 12 737-900s.

Boeing claims the Next-Generation 737 flies 305 nautical miles further, and has operating costs that are four to 10 percent lower, than the Airbus A320.