Coming Soon: Alaska Airlines’ First Boeing 737 MAX 8 Has Been Spotted Inflight

Estimated read time 3 min read


  •  Alaska Airlines’ first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft was recently spotted in the air, signaling its impending delivery in January 2024.
  •  The MAX 8 will have 159 seats, with Alaska Airlines set to receive a total of ten MAX 8s as part of their order.
  •  The airline plans to operate about 20 routes with the MAX 8, including flights connecting Los Angeles and Portland, and services from Seattle and Portland to various destinations.

Alaska Airlines‘ first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, registration N801AK, has been spotted in the air recently as the US manufacturer prepares to deliver this aircraft to Alaska Airlines in January 2024.

In the air

On Tuesday, N801AK was spotted flying across the Seattle skyline. The plane, according to data from Flightradar24, departed from Boeing Field (BFI) at 09:28 and remained in the air for the next two hours and 36 minutes.

During this period, the aircraft was spotted by photographer Preston Fiedler, a Seattle local widely known for capturing aircraft soon to be delivered.

The aircraft was first spotted in Renton in November. Between December and 19, it has operated several flights, mainly between Renton and Seattle.

Alaska’s future MAX 8

Alaska Airlines’ first Boeing 737 MAX 8 will have 159 seats, with 12 premium seats and 147 in economy (30 in economy plus and 117 in economy). The aircraft will have 19 fewer seats than the larger MAX 9. The company is set to receive ten MAX 8s as part of the 82 aircraft on order, according to data from ch-aviation.

Alaska Airlines is also expecting to receive 23 MAX 9s and 48 MAX 10s. In time, the US carrier will be one of the few companies globally to operate three of the four members of the MAX family (only the MAX 7 will remain out of Alaska’s scope).

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9

Photo: Ian Dewar Photography | Shutterstock.

We expect Alaska Airlines to operate about 20 routes in its 737 MAX 8 network. While details and dates could be subject to change, the airline is scheduled to launch operations with N801AK on February 15, 2024, on two roundtrip flights connecting Los Angeles (LAX) and Portland (PDX).

Some routes we will see with Alaska Airlines’ new Boeing 737 MAX 8s are services from Seattle to Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Austin, and San Diego. The type will also be seen in services from Portland to several destinations like Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, and Phoenix.

What has the airline said in the past

Nathaniel Pieper, Senior Vice President of Fleet, Finance & Alliances, and Treasurer for Alaska Air Group, recently said the MAX is the best aircraft model for the company, praising the fuel efficiency. He added,

“It replaced the A320s that we took on with the Virgin America merger, and it’s 20 to 25% more fuel efficient per seat than the A320. So, economics had been fantastic on it. Our guests love it. It’s a quieter airplane, with better cabin humidity, so it’s just been a terrific experience.”

Pieper also said Alaska Airlines got 37 airplanes at the end of 2022 and was on track to take between 34 and 35 units this year. The company’s total order book is 146 airplanes, with firm orders to be delivered through 2027. “We’re really pleased with Boeing, we are pleased with the airplane, and driving into a Boeing single fleet is strategically very important to Alaska’s success in the coming years.”

You May Also Like

More From Author