SEATTLE, Wash. – Alaska Airlines today introduced its first 737-900ER, which carries more passengers, flies farther and is the most fuel-efficient aircraft the carrier operates. Passengers traveling on Alaska’s new 737-900ER will enjoy more comfortable seating and Boeing’s Sky Interior, which features larger sculpted overhead bins and mood lighting designed to provide a more spacious cabin experience.
Alaska Airlines flew its first 737-900ER today between Seattle and San Diego and is scheduled to take delivery of 38 of the aircraft through 2017.
“Boeing’s Sky Interior and our new custom-designed seats represent the most significant cabin upgrades for Alaska Airlines in more than 20 years and are part of our goal to make flying more comfortable for our customers,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ president and CEO. “In addition to an improved cabin experience, the 737-900ER has environmental benefits, as well. On a flight between Seattle and Newark, New Jersey, for example, the 737-900ER burns 3 percent fewer gallons per seat than a 737-900.”
Among the most significant features of Alaska’s newest airplane is the innovative, custom-designed seat that provides passengers with more space, a six-way adjustable headrest and the carrier’s standard three inches of recline in the main cabin. Made by Recaro Aircraft Seating, the seat includes a comfortable yet slimmer seatback and bottom and a literature pocket located above the tray table.
Alaska’s first class cabin on its 737-900ER features a different premium Recaro seat with five inches of recline, an articulating seat bottom and a six-way adjustable headrest.
“Flying can be a hectic experience for most people, but entering Alaska’s new cabin actually had a relaxing and calming effect on me from the minute I stepped onto the plane,” said Brandon Berg, an Alaska Airlines MVP Gold frequent flier after touring the 737-900ER.
Configured with 165 seats in the main cabin and 16 seats in first class, Alaska’s new 737-900ERs will fly transcontinental routes between the west and east coasts and to the Hawaiian Islands.
“We’re very proud that Alaska Airlines is our North America launch customer for the Recaro BL3520 seat,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, chief executive officer of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “This award-winning seat scores with an outstanding combination of lightweight design, comfort and living space. The seat offers added value to both Alaska Airlines and their passengers.”
Alaska Airlines 737-900ER trivia
• Alaska’s new lighter seats will save an estimated 8,000 gallons of fuel annually per aircraft.
• Alaska’s 737-900ER has nine more seats than a standard 737-900. The extra seats are made possible by the airplane’s flat rather than curved rear bulkhead and by reducing the size of a main cabin closet.
• The 737-900ER is an “extended range” version of the 737-900 and is capable of flying 3,280 statute miles in a single flight.
• The 138-foot-long Boeing 737-900ER has a wingspan of 112 feet and a cruising speed of 530 mph.
• Alaska is scheduled to add three more 737-900ERs to its fleet by the end of 2012 and nine more -900ERs in 2013.
“The Boeing 737-900ER is a great addition to Alaska Airlines’ all-Boeing fleet, providing industry-leading efficiency and passenger comfort,” said Brad McMullen, vice president of North America sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The airplane’s Boeing Sky Interior coupled with Alaska’s excellent customer service will provide passengers a flying experience no other single-aisle airplane can match. The 737-900ER also offers the best seat-mile cost on the market, which is especially important with today’s high fuel prices.”