Alaska Air orders 13 Boeing 737 MAX jets as travel demand rebounds

May 12 (Reuters) - Alaska Air Group said on Wednesday it would expand its fleet with 13 orders for Boeing Co 737-9 MAX airplanes and 17 Embraer 175 jets, as the U.S. carrier prepares for bookings to come back after coronavirus vaccinations.

“Alaska expects domestic travel to return to pre-COVID levels by the summer of 2022, which will require more aircraft across Air Group,” the company said in a statement.

The orders for the 737-9 MAX are part of Alaska Air’s purchase options from December, when it had ordered 23 of the MAX airplanes.

The company expects to take deliveries of nine out of 13 737-9 MAX planes in 2023, and four in 2024.

Alaska Air said the 17 Embraer 175 jets will grow its regional fleet to 111 planes, with deliveries in 2022 and 2023. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)