Alaska Airlines maintains all-Boeing fleet with $1.3 billion 737 order

Alaska Airlines has purchased 15 Renton-built, Next-Generation 737 airplanes, including its first extended-range 737s, in a deal worth $1.3 billion.

The contract announced Tuesday, which includes previously announced options, is for 13 737-900ER and two 737-800s.

The largest and newest model in the 737 family, the 737-900ER can carry up to 26 more passengers or fly about 500 nautical miles farther than the 737-900. The longer range of the 737-900ER will connect distant cities across continents, such as Seattle to Orlando, Fla.

"The reliability and efficiency of our 737 fleet has been a direct contributor to our strong financial performance," said Brad Tilden, president of Alaska Airlines. "The 737-900ER will be a perfect fit for our transcontinental, high traffic West Coast and mid-continental markets and will be the most fuel efficient airplane in our fleet. We look forward to adding the same 'Proudly All Boeing' logo to these airplanes that already adorns the rest of our 737 fleet."

The Next-Generation 737s will add capability to Alaska Airlines' fleet of 114 737s currently serving 61 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, according to a Boeing press release.

The Next-Generation 737 family is the world's best-selling commercial jetliner. Demand for the Next-Generation 737 has led Boeing to announce two production rate increases, leading to the highest-ever production rates for the airplane in 2013.

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