Alaska Air Cargo announced Boeing will provide the conversion work for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) to add to its dedicated freighter fleet serving the state of Alaska. The conversion work will be done at Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica. The two 737-800BCF aircraft will increase the Alaska Air Cargo freighter fleet from three to five aircraft that are dedicated to serving the state of Alaska.
“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. “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.”
The two 737-800 airplanes will come from Alaska Airlines’ existing passenger fleet and will be leased from BBAM, an industry leader in aircraft leasing and freighter conversions. The planes will be converted from their passenger configuration to an all-freight aircraft beginning in 2023 with completion of the final aircraft by early 2024.
The 737-800 provides a payload of nearly 50,000 pounds. With a range of 2,800 nautical miles, the 737-800 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.”
“We are pleased that Alaska Air Cargo has selected the 737-800BCF to meet growing demand for air cargo in the state of Alaska, and across its network,” said Mike Doellefeld, vice president of Boeing Converted Freighter and Engineering Services for Boeing. “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.”