LONDON – Alaska Air Cargo has announced that Boeing will provide cargo conversion work for two passenger Boeing 737-800 aircraft through BBAM.
It is understood that the conversion work will be undertaken in Costa Rica with Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales.
This is part of the carrier’s plan to increase the cargo wing’s fleet from three to five aircraft that are used to service the cargo needs of the state of Alaska.
Adam Drouhard, the Managing Director of Alaska Air Cargo, said the following in this announcement:
“Fleet expansion positions our growing cargo business to meet the increased demand that we see from industry and consumers”.
“The 737-800 aircraft provides 40% more load space than our current 737-700 freighters, essentially doubling Air Cargo’s total freighter lift capacity.”
“We look forward to getting these 737-800s into service to support Alaska’s supply chain and connect cargo to over 100 cities we serve across North America.”
Adding to this was Marilyn Romano, the Regional VP of Alaska Airlines:
“Alaskans have always relied on Alaska Air Cargo to provide time-sensitive services to their communities”.
“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 the 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.”
Mike Doellefeld, vice president of Boeing Converted Freighter and Engineering Services for Boeing, also added to the comments:
“We are pleased that Alaska Air Cargo has selected the 737-800BCF to meet the growing demand for air cargo in the state of Alaska and across its network”.
“By introducing the reliable 737-800BCF to its existing freighter fleet, Alaska Air Cargo can offer more capacity where its customers need it most – and with lower emissions.”
Alaska Air Cargo’s Tiny Network…
Alaska Air Cargo’s tiny yet effective route network typically serves Anchorage from Seattle as well as other parts of the United States on a wholly regional basis.
The carrier has three Boeing 737-700 Freighters that have a maximum payload of 40,000 lbs and can travel up to 3,200 miles on one tank of fuel.
With the new 737-800 conversions, this will provide the carrier with around 50,000 pounds worth of payload, offering a range of 2,800 nautical miles.
Alaska was also keen to note that the -800BCFs would be the most fuel-efficient aircraft to serve the intra-Alaskan network, which would bring costs down.
It remains clear that the conversion of these two aircraft is going to slightly alter the way that the cargo wing conducts its operations, but on a positive note.
With the first conversion delivery due next year and the final one to be completed by early 2024, there is quite a quick turnaround on this process in order to open up new potential air links.
All eyes will now be on the company to see where they take this side of the business next.