Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) has reached an agreement wherein it will sell all 10 of its remaining owned A320-200s to Air Lease Corporation which will, in turn, lease the airline 13 incremental B737-9s.

The B737 MAX 9s are scheduled to deliver between the second half of 2021 through the end of 2022 and will come on top of another 32 of the type that Alaska Airlines has on direct order from Boeing.

Following the sale of the A320s to ALC, Alaska Airlines will lease the units back for a short period of time during its transition to the B737 MAX fleet, "on terms that align with Alaska Airlines’ fleet modernization and rationalization over the next few years".

According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, Alaska Airlines operates fifty A320-200s, of which it only owns the 10 now sold to ALC. The remaining 40 are dry-leased from a variety of lessors, but none from ALC. The airline inherited its entire fleet of Airbus narrowbodies, which also includes ten A321-200Ns and twelve already retired A319-100s, as part of its take over of Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA). During the course of 2020, it repeatedly said that it would evaluate options for the retirement of the A320s.

In October, the carrier confirmed that the "earlier than planned" retirement of the ten owned A320-200s would result in an impairment charge of USD115-125 million, subject to finalisation.

Alaska Airlines plans to launch B737 MAX operations in March 2021. The carrier did not take any of its 32 firm-ordered B737 MAX 9s prior to the type's grounding in March 2019. All of the aircraft are now ready for delivery, subject to the installation of FAA-mandated modifications.

ALC itself has outstanding orders for nineteen B737 MAX 9s from the manufacturer, on top of 107 orders for B737-8s. The lessor owns ten B737 MAX 8s already delivered to operators - four to Oman Air, two each to Cayman Airways and Sunwing Airlines, and one each to S7 Airlines and AL1QSW-o. The lessor owns twenty-three A320-200s, excluding those bought from Alaska Airlines.