Monday, June 15, 2015

Alaska Airlines to receive new RJs

Utah-based SkyWest Airlines will purchase eight new two-class Embraer E175 regional jets that will replace eight older aircraft the company currently operates for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

"We look forward to continually improving the product we provide to our partner and their customers," Chip Childs, SkyWest president, said in a statement.

Alaska Embraer E175
The new planes will be delivered in 2016. The announcement comes on the heels of the delivery of the first of seven E175s purchased in the fall of 2014. Those aircraft will also be flown for Alaska beginning July 1 on new routes between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport (MKE) and Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City (OKC), and on a new route connecting Portland, Oregon (PDX) and St. Louis (STL).

"The E175 is an excellent regional aircraft that offers customers comforts similar to our mainline jets," Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for Alaska Airlines, added. "The spacious E175 is particularly well-suited for long, thin routes that are too far for our existing regional aircraft."

The 76-seat E175 jet will feature 12 seats in first class and 64 in coach according to Alaska. A number of airlines around the world operate E175 regional jets. Typically, First Class seats are about 20 inches wide with pitch of 37 inches, though the planes operated by United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) have First Class seats that are 24 inches wide. Coach seats are typically 18.25 inches wide, according to SeatGuru.com, which is wider than the 17 inch seats on Alaska’s 737s. Pitch is similar, at 31 to 32 inches.

Onboard amenities will include Alaska Beyond Entertainment which streams entertainment options directly to passengers' personal electronic devices, Alaska Beyond Delicious which offers Pacific Northwest-inspired food and beverages, in-flight Internet access, and 110-volt power at every seat.

SkyWest expects to retire the regional jet fleet it is currently flying for Alaska by fall of 2016.

Alaska Airlines is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

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