Alaska Air Cargo is all set to expand with the addition of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its dedicated freighter fleet serving the state of Alaska.
These additions increase the freighter fleet from three to five aircraft.
“Fleet expansion positions our growing cargo business to meet increased demand that we see from industry and consumers,” said Adam Drouhard, Managing Director for Alaska Air Cargo, in an official statement. Air Cargo’s total freighter lift capacity will be essentially doubled with the introduction of the -800 aircraft.
“We look forward to getting these -800s into service to support Alaska’s supply chain and connect cargo to over 100 cities we serve across North America,” he added.
The two 737-800 converted aircraft will come from Alaska Airlines’ existing passenger fleet.
Beginning this year, the planes will be converted from their passenger configuration to all-freight aircraft. They’re projected to re-enter service as freighters in 2023.
The -800 aircraft provides a 40% capacity increase per departure over the current -700 aircraft, with a payload of nearly 50,000 pounds.
With a range of 2,800 nautical miles, the -800 will be the most fuel-efficient aircraft to serve intra-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.
“With service to 20 communities across Alaska and only three accessible by road, adding new aircraft to the current freighter fleet allows expansion of our vital services to all Alaskans.
“The additional freighter capacity also allows us to quickly move seafood and other commodities from Alaska to points throughout the U.S,” said Romano.