Alaska Air Cargo to expand freighter fleet capacity with addition of 737-800s
The additional aircraft is expected to increase the reliability of Alaska Air Cargo's scheduled freighter service to 20 communities across the state of Alaska
Alaska Air Cargo has recently announced that its dedicated freighter capacity will essentially double in 2023 as it adds two 737-800 aircraft to their fleet, giving them five scheduled freighters serving the state of Alaska and connecting to the Lower 48.
The 737-800s are expected to be converted from the company's existing passenger aircraft, and they have on offer more main deck and belly-load space – and higher fuel efficiency – than the three 737-700 freighters that are currently in its fleet.
"The timing couldn't be better," said Adam Drouhard, managing director for Alaska Air Cargo. "Fleet expansion positions our growing cargo business to meet the increased demand that we see from industry and consumers."
While there are 11 full positions (88"x125") in the 737-800 freighter, with a belly capacity of 44 square meters and a payload of 50,000 lbs, two are expected to join the fleet by 2023. Meanwhile, there are 8 full positions (88"x125") in the 737-700 freighter with a 17.5 square meters belly capacity and a payload of 40,000 lbs in the three freighters they currently have. The additional aircraft is expected to increase the reliability of Alaska Air Cargo's scheduled freighter service to 20 communities across the state of Alaska.
"Alaskans have always relied on Alaska Air Cargo to provide time-sensitive services to their communities," said Marilyn Romano, regional vice president, Alaska Airlines. "Whether it is vaccines, medicine, household supplies or fresh food, our freighters keep rural Alaska supplied and connected. The additional freighter capacity also allows us to quickly move seafood and other commodities from Alaska to points throughout the U.S."
The freighter fleet growth is part of a broader expansion of cargo opportunities across our 100-city network, which includes the most extensive air cargo operation on the West Coast of any passenger airline. This year, we are also adding 30 new 737-9 MAX aircraft to our passenger fleet, bringing higher fuel efficiency, additional long-range nonstop options, and a larger capacity for cargo payload.
The 737-800s will be converted from their current passenger configuration to all-freight aircraft later this year, and enter freighter service next year. Alaska Air Cargo annually transports more than 200 million pounds of cargo and mail and also delivers medicines, household items and food items to communities in Alaska that have limited access to motorable roads and also move seafood among other cargo to North American cities as well.