The Inside Story of How Alaska Airlines Went All-In on the Returning Boeing 737 Max

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines  / Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is due to take delivery of its first 737 Max this weekend. Courtesy of Alaska Airlines / Alaska Airlines

Skift Take: Alaska was the first airline to officially throw its support behind Boeing’s beleaguered 737 Max after the jet was ungrounded, with commitments for 36 more aircraft. But it was a long and winding road to that decision with the seed planted in its merger with Virgin America four years earlier.

— Edward Russell

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Tokyo Olympics Will Go On Despite Reports of Cancellation: Organizers

Issei Kato  / Reuters

A man wearing a protective face mask following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks past a banner for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 2020. Issei Kato / Reuters

Skift Take: If the reports had been true, it would have only been the fourth time in modern history that the Olympic Games had been cancelled. Japan assured the world Friday the Games are on. Tourism players breathed a sigh of relief.

— Tom Lowry

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Transportation Will Play Vital Role in Pandemic Recovery, Buttigieg Vows During Hearing

Gage Skidmore  / Flickr

Pete Buttigieg (seen here in an earlier photo) laid out his vision for the nation’s transportation infrastructure during a hearing on Thursday before Senate committee considering his nomination as U.S. Transportation Secretary. Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Skift Take: Confirmation hearings can be contentious, but Thursday’s hearing to confirm Pete Buttigieg as the nation’s first open LGBTQ cabinet member seemed more like a gathering of old friends. But Buttigieg was clear: transportation can play a leading role in bringing the country back.

— Ruthy Muñoz

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United Airlines Looks Abroad (Eventually) for Travel Recovery Profits

Edward Russell  / Flickr

United is betting on international travel to buoy its post-pandemic profits. Edward Russell / Flickr

Skift Take: United Airlines executives are betting that structural changes on the international front mean it can emerge larger and stronger from the pandemic. But this won’t occur until travelers return in significant numbers, something they don’t expect for some months.

— Edward Russell

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