Allegiant Air has announced an order for 50 of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, split between 30 of the 737 Max 7 and 20 of the higher-capacity 737 Max 200. The airline has also placed options for an additional 50 Max aircraft.
According to reports in Reuters, the deal, valued at $5.5 billion, will see 10 of the jets delivered in 2023, with 24 deliveries scheduled for 2024 and the final 16 in 2025.
The low-cost carrier currently operates an all-Airbus fleet with 108 A319s and A320s, although it has previously operated 757 aircraft. In the announcement, Allegiant said that up until now its ultra-low-cost business model “had been primarily focused on high quality used aircraft to maintain lower fixed costs.”
However, the statement continues, “The pandemic recovery cycle has brought to Allegiant unique opportunities to acquire new equipment, including this aircraft-family solution, which will add significant economic and operational benefits for years to come.”
Allegiant said the 737 Max will add seating capacity and result in 20 percent fuel savings compared to the carrier’s older Airbus fleet. The new aircraft will be used to replace retiring aircraft and expand Allegiant’s network, although the airline said that it would continue to source A320s in the used market.
“Our approach to fleet has always been opportunistic, and this exciting transaction with Boeing is no exception,” said Maurice J. Gallagher Jr, Allegiant chairman and CEO.
“While the heart of our strategy continues to center on previously-owned aircraft, the infusion of up to 100 direct-from-the-manufacturer 737s will bring numerous benefits for the future – including flexibility for capacity growth and aircraft retirements, significant environmental benefits, and modern configuration and cabin features our customers will appreciate.”
The 737 Max is staging something of a comeback as more aviation regulators clear the aircraft to return to the skies. According to airline data provider Cirium and Boeing’s own count, 30 carriers are currently operating 346 of the 737 Max aircraft globally.
In two recent developments, Ethiopian Airlines has announced it will relaunch services using the jetliner in February, while authorities in Indonesia have cleared the aircraft to return to operations.