Seattle (AP) - The US airline Alaska Airlines wants to order more copies of Boeing's 737 Max crisis jet in the middle of the Corona crisis.

The airline announced in Seattle on Tuesday that both sides had reached an agreement in principle.

It was only in mid-November that the US aviation authority lifted the take-off ban on the type of aircraft that it had imposed around 20 months earlier.

Alaska Airlines is now building on the improved version of the type and primarily wants to use it to replace aircraft in the fleet from the European manufacturer Airbus.

According to the agreement with Boeing, the airline is adding another 23 to a previous order for 32 Boeing jets in the series.

Together with 13 leased jets of the series, Alaska Airlines is to receive 68 737-9-Max planes by 2024.

In addition, the airline secured additional purchase options and can order a total of 52 additional machines.

At the beginning of December, the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair had already ordered another 75 aircraft of the type.


Alaska Airlines' first regular passenger flight with the 737-9-Max is scheduled to start next March.

The company expects to have five machines in the series by the summer.

The 737 Max was taken out of service in March 2019 after two crashes with 346 dead.

The main cause of the accidents was a faulty control program that steered the machines towards the ground.

Boeing actually wanted to fix the problems much faster, but new defects kept cropping up.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201222-99-787018 / 2