Alaska Air Cargo’s first converted 737-700 freighter to operate on Seattle-Alaska route
September 27, 2017: Alaska Air Cargo has introduced the first converted Boeing 737-700 cargo aircraft that was converted from an all-passenger to an all-freight aircraft. The aircraft is entering commercial service, carrying goods from Seattle to the state of Alaska.
"With an all-freight fleet, our cargo business is now a stand-alone operation, allowing us to better focus on the needs of our cargo customers," said Wayne Newton, vice president of airport operations and customer service, Alaska Airlines.
The aircraft was converted over 19 months in Tel Aviv by Israel Aerospace Industries. Alaska pilots flew the converted plane from Tel Aviv to Belfast, Ireland on September 6. From there, the plane touched down on US soil in Bangor, Maine and continued on to Greensboro, North Carolina, for scheduled maintenance. The aircraft was painted in Victorville, California before arriving in Seattle.
Alaska will take delivery of two more converted 737-700 freighters, allowing the new, all-cargo fleet to carry 15 percent more capacity overall. Currently, Alaska operates one 737-400 freighter and four 737-400 combi aircraft, which carry both passengers and cargo. Alaska plans to retire its entire 737-400 combi fleet by October 18.
"The new freighter will transform our cargo business and allow us to provide more efficient and consistent service," said Jason Berry, managing director, Alaska Air Cargo. "Now we can move more freight than ever before, and optimise schedules to meet the needs of our cargo partners."
Initially, the new fleet of all-freight aircraft will primarily serve the state of Alaska, and provide regular, scheduled service to 17 communities across the state.