Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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How aircraft orders contribute to the local economy

October 17, 2014

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Photo by Benét J. Wilson

You often hear stories about airlines order new jets, from big companies such as Boeing or Airbus. But, what do they mean to the communities where those airlines are from?

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines recently announced an order of 10 new Boeing 737-900 jets. The carrier also happens to be in the back yard of where Boeing builds the 737s.

As part of the announcement, Alaska Airlines created a multimedia suite of information on how an airline makes its aircraft purchasing decision, how that decision impacts jobs and the economy and what it means for the carrier’s future.

The suite includes high-resolution photos and a series of HD videos showing the 737 production line in Renton, Washington, along with interviews of Andrew Harrison, the carrier’s Senior Vice President of Planning and Revenue Management and Hannah Wong, Chief Financial Officer of Boeing’s 737 Program.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Federal Aviation Administration in June released a report, “The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy,” that found civil aircraft manufacturing continues to be the top net exporter in the U.S. with a positive trade balance of $54.3 billion. The industry also supported 11.8 million jobs, accounted for $1.5 trillion in total economic activity, and contributed 5.4 percent to U.S. GDP.


Alaska Airlines multimedia suite

FAA report

Aerospace Industries Association

Airlines 4 America


Benét J. Wilson is co-editor of and blogs at She has been an aviation/travel journalists for more than 20 years. Follow her on Twitter @AvQueenBenet 

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