KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Alaska Airlines plans to add Embraer 175 jet aircraft to its Alaska service beginning in October.
The Seattle-based air carrier announced Monday that the 76-passenger jets would be serving some areas of Alaska. However, a spokesperson said Tuesday that the company does not have the E175 planes scheduled for anywhere in Southeast Alaska.
Alaska Airlines’ Regional Vice President Marilyn Romano said in Monday’s prepared statement that Alaskans who’ve flown in E175s in the Lower 48 have asked often about when the plane would be in Alaska.
“We're thrilled the time has come," Romano said. "This jet gives us the flexibility to increase daily frequency between Anchorage and Fairbanks up to seven times a day, and to provide year-round service to King Salmon and Dillingham. In time, the new mix of aircraft will unlock other markets in the state for future service."
The company has 62 E175 jets in its fleet, which are operated by Horizon Air, according to the Alaska Airlines information. The aircraft will “compliment” the airline’s current service by Boeing 737 jets in Alaska, and are “perfect for many communities where larger jets are not the best option.”
Manufactured by the Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, the E175 jets are nearly 104 feet in length, and have a wingspan of 94 feet, 2 inches, according to Alaska Airlines information. It’s typical cruising speed is 545 mph. It has a range of 1,800 nautical miles, and a maximum cruising altitude of 41,000 feet.
The E175 cabins — which have no middle seats — are configured with 12 seats in first class, 12 in premium class, and 52 coach seats.
Monday’s announcement acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenging time for Alaskans, including with the related reduction in air service in the state. Romano said that the E175 will support service in the state.
"We've served the unique needs of the Great Land for 88 years, and introducing a new aircraft to our in-state fleet supports additional flying and keeps Alaskans connected within the state and beyond," she said.