As for the aircraft order, the 50 jets will include 37 Boeing 737 MAX models, which have a new engine variant, and 13 next-generation 737-900s. At list price, before the undisclosed discount, the order is valued at about $5 billion. The 737 MAX is expected to be 13% more fuel efficient than today's most efficient single-aisle aircraft.

"This order positions us for growth and ensures that we'll continue to operate the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft available for the foreseeable future," said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden, in a prepared statement.

Alaska currently operates 120 Boeing 737s. In addition to the 50 new orders, it has 25 existing firm delivery positions. Two-thirds of the new aircraft will be used for fleet replacement, it said, while the rest will enable continued growth. The order provides for deliveries between 2015 and 2022

Aviation consultant Scott Hamilton noted that Boeing now has MAX orders or commitments from American ( AAMRQ.PK), Southwest ( LUV), United ( UAL) and three aircraft leasing companies.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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