Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) has resolved to retire twelve Airbus narrowbodies permanently, including all ten of its A319-100s, as a part of its post-COVID recovery strategy, Chief Financial Officer Shane Tackett said during the carrier's quarterly earnings.

"We have determined that at least 12 mainline aircraft would be permanently parked, including 10 A319s that were among the smallest and least efficient aircraft we have, and two leased A320s that had not yet been reconfigured to our new interior. The rest of the parked aircraft are being stored and maintained so they can reenter service," Tackett said.

The airline took over the entire fleet of A320 family narrowbodies, including orders for A320-200neo aircraft, after the merger with Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA). Its ten A319-100s are 12.6 years old on average and are dry-leased from Aviator Capital, Doric Asset Finance, GECAS (two each), Carlyle Aviation Partners, Castlelake, DAE Capital, and Nomura Babcock & Brown (one each), the ch-aviation fleets ownership module shows.

Out of Alaska Airlines' fifty-one A320-200s, which are 9.6 years old on average, ten are owned, and the remainder is leased. The airline's Airbus fleet also includes ten A321-200neo.

Tackett added that as a "byproduct" of the carrier's decision to retire 12 Airbus aircraft, it is currently retraining around 240 pilots to its Boeing subfleet, which includes eleven B737-700s, sixty-one B737-800s, twelve B737-900s, seventy-nine B737-900(ER)s, and three B737-700(F)s.

The airline said that it halted all additional aircraft capital expenditure, although Tackett underlined that this did not entail deferring all future deliveries.

"We do have a lot of pre-delivery payments money on deposit with Boeing, and we can take aircraft under some of that and so there is an opportunity for us to do that without new cash going out the door actually," Tackett said.

The airline has thirty-two B737-9s on firm order from Boeing, as well as thirty A320neo orders inherited from Virgin.

Tackett stated that when the airline feels there is a need to "backfill" the capacity lost due to the retirement of the twelve Airbus narrowbodies, it will be doing so "by Boeing that we have on order today".