Featured Map for 11 January 2023:
Alaska's Dwindling Airbus Fleet


Yesterday, Alaska Airlines retired its last Airbus A320, ferrying N849VA from Los Angeles to Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville. The aircraft was the last of 53 acquired as part of the acquisition of Virgin America. Alaska started retiring the A320 family in October 2019 and has gradually retired the fleet as new Boeing 737 aircraft join the fleet. In addition to the A320s, ten Airbus A319s were retired in the first quarter of 2020.

Alaska's remaining Airbus fleet consists of ten examples of the A321neo (A321-253N models with CFMI LEAP engines), leased from GECAS by Virgin America but delivered after the merger, starting in 2018.

Today's Featured Map shows the 14 primary routes for Alaska's A321neo fleet. Most of the operations are focused on Virgin Amerca's former base at San Francisco, with eight destinations. Another six routes (five plus SFO) are from Los Angeles a focus city for Virgin America, and three routes (Newark, plus SFO and LAX) are from Alaska's hub at Seattle.

One quirk of the map is that it looks like Alaska might fly the A321neo from Chicago O'Hare to New York, either to JFK or to Newark or even to both. That's an illusion due to the geodesic ("great circle") path from San Francisco to New York passing almost directly over O'Hare. (That might be a topic for a future Featured Map!)

References and additional information:



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