N960AS From Switzerland, joined Apr 2000, 466 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 820 times:
As far as I've heard its more like at least 3 years. Alaska is slowly phasing out the MD-80s with the last one to leave the fleet between 2005 and 2007. I've just read that here and there, so I can't verify it, but the numbers do speak. Alaska has I believe 32 MD-80s and 71 73S/4/G/9s and AS is planning to operate a summer schedule slightly over capacity in comparison to 2001 and they aren't recieving 30 737s with in the next year. Please, how would they pay? I mean AS is better off than most, but still, thats almost a 1/3 of the fleet to be replaced. The MD-80s will be around for a little while more, please, don't rush it. Do you want more 737s in the world?
737-990 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 364 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 739 times:
The current issue of the Alaska's World employee magazine has an interview with Alaska's CFO Brad Tilden where he was asked about Alaska's future fleet plans. In it he says that the current fleet of 102 will grow to 110 by the end of 2003. They still haven't figured out how the're going to do that. He says that Alaska is reviewing the 737-800 since its the natural replacement for the MD-80 and 737-400. If I were to guess right now the MD-80 might be around for a few more years. Lease rates are currently very good for MD-80s after 9/11, infact AS extended the lease of 4 MDs which were to be returned this year. In the interview he says that 11 leased aircraft are due to be returned in the near future: 6 MD80s and 5 737-400s. He said they're looking at extending the lease on those aircraft.
And yes, Alaska was the launch customer along with Delta for the MD-90. It intially ordered 20, which was later lowered to 10. The order was later canceled when the recession of 1991 hit and it was replaced with 6 more MD-80s.