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Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:58 am

This weekend, I flew PDX-SFO and OAK-PDX on two AS 734's...

I was surprised to find that one of the 734s (on OAK-PDX last night) looked like an IFE system had been installed before -- metal plates where the headphones would connect and metal plates where the dials would be for the channels and volume.

So, that leads me to believe that the AS 734s have different lineages... can anyone shed some light on the AS 734 fleet and where they came from?
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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:29 am

To my knowledge, all of Alaska's 737-400s have been operated only by Alaska from the time they were delivered new. However, most of this type in the AS fleet are designated 737-4Q8, meaning their original owner was International Lease Finance (ILFC). Could be that ILFC left open the option to install IFE if specified by the airline to whom the aircraft would be leased.
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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:11 am

From what I could find, Alaska has 40 734s...1 -S3, 17 -90s & 22 -Q8s. All were delivered new to AS. Perhaps one of the aircraft you flew was one of the leased planes, where the option for IFE system was left up to the carrier, as Tango-Bravo had stated. If you had a tail-number, that would tell ya whether the aircraft was owned or leased. Regards.
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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:16 am

Well 90 is Alaska's customer code and as has been mentioned before -Q8 is IFLC's.

Anybody know who is S3 is?

I suspect that probably is the mystery aircraft.
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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:06 pm

S3 was Air Europe, UK.
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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Tue Aug 12, 2003 9:25 pm

The 737-4S3, N786AS, was not delivered new to Alaska. It was first delivered to Air Europe (hence the "S3" designation), and has flown with Inter European, MarkAir, and Icelandair prior to joining AS. Some photos:

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Photo © Manuel Marin
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Photo © Chris Thomson

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RE: Alaska's 737-400 Fleet

Sat Aug 16, 2003 3:08 am

I flew on the first AS 737-400 (del. 1992, N754AS, Spirit of Alaska) in 1998, and the headphone jacks and dials were still exposed. They looked perfectly functional, although the master audio switch was turned off. Since then, the headphone jacks have been "sealed off."

Since IFE adds fuel, maintenance and programming costs and generates very little incremental revenue on short flights, I can understand the decision not to install it on the 734s. However, from a passenger's perspective, I wish they had ordered their 73Gs and 739s with TV screens, like Continental did. AS is doing a substantial amount of long-haul flying with these planes now. AS, after all, does have a reputation for providing a top-notch in-flight product. I guess these days, the bottom-line always wins.

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