New year, new aircraft – and cargo opportunities to the 737-9 MAX

The winglets and the engine cowlings are two distinctive features of the new 737-9 aircraft. (Boeing photo)

More than 30 new Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft will join our fleet this year, bringing higher fuel efficiency, additional long-range nonstop route options – and expanded opportunities for cargo.

The new aircraft are about the same size as the 737-900ERs they replace, so the cargo-hold dimensions will remain the same. But the more efficient engines can accommodate a heavier load of cargo on many of our longest cross-country and Pacific routes. For example: 

  • Boston (BOS) to San Diego (SAN): The MAX can carry more than 3,000 pounds of additional cargo on an average flight than the 737-900ER.
  • New York (JFK) to Seattle (SEA): In winter months, the MAX can accommodate more than 2,500 pounds in additional cargo than the 737-900ER on an average flight. During the rest of the year, flights on this route must operate with weather-related weight restrictions – but the MAX can still take more than 1,000 pounds more cargo on average than older aircraft.
  • Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL): The MAX can carry an average of 3,000 pounds more cargo weight across the Pacific. Even in months that see significant headwinds, the new aircraft can carry 2,500-plus pounds more than the 737-900ER can accommodate today.

 “Many of the longer routes in our network can be impacted by headwinds, especially this time of the year, and the fuel efficiency of the new MAX will allow us to safely lift the weight restrictions we have in the older fleet,” says Adam Drouhard, managing director for Alaska Air Cargo. “More of these new aircraft will end up on our transcon routes as they are deployed.”

Each MAX also can fly up to 500 miles farther than the older aircraft, making it possible to add more long-range nonstops to our network – like the new Seattle to Miami (MIA) flight that starts service on June 16. 

The 31 MAXs coming this year will join a dozen already put into service in 2021. These upgrades to the fleet are part of our goal to be the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline as we strive to reduce the environmental impact of air travel and maintain carbon-neutral growth by 2025. By the end of 2024, we will have more than 90 737-9 MAX aircraft in our fleet.

Learn more about Alaska Airlines’ environmental and social-impact commitments.

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