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Alaska Airlines makes $5 billion buy of 50 Boeing aircraft

Alaska Dispatch

This week has seen some ups and downs for Alaska Airlines. On Monday, a cut fiber-optic cable in Wisconsin caused the airline's check-in system to go down, delaying flights nationwide. The issue was fixed later in the day. Now, Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, has announced it is making an order for 50 new aircraft from Seattle-based airline manufacturer Boeing.

According to Alaska Airlines, the list price for the new aircraft comes to about $5 billion, though the specific details of the contract weren't available. The 50 aircraft are all various types of the Boeing 737, including 20 of the 737 Max 8 model and 17 of the 737 Max 9. The Max variant of the 737 is already "the workhouse of the Seattle-based carrier's fleet," according to the Wall Street Journal.

The airline reports that it already operates a fleet of about 120 737's, and about two-thirds of the new order will eventually replace some of those older aircraft. The new aircraft are reportedly about 13 percent more fuel efficient than existing single-aisle commercial aircraft, which could be a good thing for ticket costs that rise in large part thanks to increased fuel expenses.

Alaska Airlines is bucking the long-term norm for many airlines, which continue to struggle to gain traction as the nation emerges from the economic recession. Alaska Airlines has reported continued strong profits in recent quarterly reports.