Alaska Air Cargo is boosting its freighter fleet from three to five aircraft to meet growing demands in its cargo business.
Two Boeing 737-800 aircraft are being converted from the Alaska Airlines existing passenger fleet to meet increased demand the company sees from industry and consumers, said Adam Drouhard, managing director for Alaska Air Cargo.
“The -800 aircraft provides more load space than our current -700 freighters, essentially doubling Air Cargo’s total freighter lift capacity. 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.”
The planes will be converted from their passenger configuration to an all-freight aircraft beginning this year. 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.
The additional freighter capacity will allow the airline’s air cargo division to move seafood and other commodities from Alaska to domestic points nationwide, company officials said.
Alaska Air Cargo transports more than 200 million pounds of cargo annually — including seafood, mail, and freight — and operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the U.S. West Coast of any passenger airline.
Alaska Airlines among TIME’s list of most influential companies in 2022
Alaska Airlines has earned itself a coveted spot in TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential companies of 2022, thanks to its ambitious plans to reduce climate change impact to aviation, the airline announced on Wednesday, March 30.
“Alaska was selected because of our commitment to making meaningful changes in the climate impact of aviation,” airline officials said.
This is all part of caring for people, the places we fly and the communities we serve. Throughout the last 12 months, we’ve put a range of initiatives into action to ensure we’re driving forward innovation in sustainability and the industry, they said.
The announcement came in time for Earth Month, much to the delight of airline officials.