Alaska Airlines may keep leased Airbus fleet – Leeham News and Analysis

In the summer, another leasing source told Airfinance Journal that while the approach made sense, finding the aircraft to accommodate it was difficult.

“Lessors will need feedstock for this RFP. We don’t have a Next Generation aircraft available before 2022,” he said.

Still, the US carrier could proceed with plans to sell its 10 owned A320s.

One source tells Airfinance Journal that some lessors could be interested in trading those aircraft back, given their age, and placing some Max units on operating leases as a trade.

Alaska Air is also rumoured to be in negotiations with Boeing regarding its delivery schedule for its Max fleets.

Should the carrier keep its A320-family fleet until lease expiration, its intention would be to match incoming new aircraft with retirements. Boeing on the other hand may push for earlier placements to eat into the large inventory of Max aircraft it has accumulated.

In its RFP Alaska Air was targeting 737-800 and 737-900ER replacement aircraft of seven years of age or less, but was also considering new Max 8/9 aircraft, white-tails or lightly used aircraft of those models.

One source says that reconfiguration costs could be key in any discussion with Boeing.

Boeing declined to comment.

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