Alaska Air Cargo Introduces World's First Converted 737-700

Alaska Airlines Converts 737-700 to Freighter

In the recent news, The Alaska Air Group has made a historical feat in aviation. Many of you are probably not aware that Alaska Airlines is one of few airlines in the world to offer passenger service as well as a dedicated cargo service – Alaska Air Cargo.

News Article


Alaska Air Cargo – Background & Fleet Information

As excerpted from Wikipedia:

Alaska Air Cargo has regional operations in parts of the United States and has the most extensive air cargo operations on the west coast of the U.S., larger than that of any other passenger airline. Alaska’s cargo operations are focused primarily on the northwestern contiguous states and Alaska, between Anchorage and Seattle. South from Alaska, goods that are carried primarily include fresh Alaskan seafood, while products carried north from Seattle primarily include US Postal Service mail; in addition, the airline also carries goods for remote Alaskan communities and personal packages. [1]

Currently, Alaska Air Cargo owns one Boeing 737-400F and three Boeing 737-400Cs, a passenger-cargo Combi jet.[2] All of the freighter and combi-jet aircraft have been in the Alaska Air Cargo fleet for over 10 years now, however, all four are over 20 years of age which is quite old especially for these specific plane models. This aging fleet will be replaced by three new converted 737-700 passenger jets over the next couple of weeks.[3]

Alaska Air Cargo – New 737-700 Freighters

As previously mentioned, Alaska Air Cargo will have a total of three ex-passenger 737-700 aircraft. They are the first airline in the world to do such conversion with these specific aircraft. N627AS has been performing active cargo service duties since September 2017 while N625AS and N626AS are at Tel Aviv (TLV/LLBG) undergoing the conversion process. They are expected to complete the conversion and testing process by mid-October [4] and enter the fleet towards the tail end of the month. The 737-400C and 737-400F will be retired soon after.

Specifications [5]

  • Range: 3,200 miles.
  • Maximum Payload: 42,000 pounds.
  • Carries 10,000 more pounds than previous -400C variant.

Photo

737-700 freighter rendering
© Alaska Airlines Newsroom

My Opinion

I think this is amazing news! I’m glad Alaska Air Cargo is finally getting rid of those very old 737-400 freighters and combi-jets. Hopefully Alaska Airlines continues to do this with their older 737 passenger aircraft especially since they’re currently merging with Virgin America.

One thing I will really miss are the 737-400Cs for sure. It’s very rare to see a half cargo-half passenger plane around anymore. I believe there are a few Canadian airlines that use the same equipment but I cannot remember the name of the airline at this moment. If I recall correctly, I believe KLM does this same thing with a few of their 747-400s (if you know the correct information regarding this, please let me know). I think the 737-700F looks so good in the Alaska Air Cargo livery, I must add.

Hopefully other airlines with cargo subsidiaries decide to convert some of their older passenger aircraft to cargo/freighter variants especially with the 737 family. It has a great range, is very versatile, and is the perfect size to serve small to medium-sized cities and towns.

Your Opinion

What do you guys think about this? Do you think Alaska Airlines made a smart decision? Should other passenger airlines with cargo subsidiaries do the same? React to this new information below! :)


References/Links.

1Alaska Airlines Wikipedia Page
2Alaska Airlines Fleet Information
3Alaska Airlines’ New Freighters
4Alaska Airlines Introduces New Freighters
5Alaska Airlines Newsroom

21 Likes

I was about to say something about that title…

Great post! Will definitely start reading it.

Haha the link didn’t seem to work so I quickly changed it. Nothing to see here… :p

Awsome! I was really sad about their 737-400Cs eventually being retired. The -700 looks great though, especially with the new livery!

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I think it is a great idea and I am a huge fan of that new livery! Just out of curiosity, do they carry normal cargo like FedEx, UPS etc… if not, what do they carry?

Yes I have seen it as well, it’s a much regular at PAKT ©Marvin H Kaleikau-Buxton, aka me lol

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Love those splits, hope they are in IF one day, but I already thought the 737-700 had a convertible variant already?

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Alaska Air Cargo carries any and all cargo! You can ship anything to 85 destinations, as well! :)

  • Alaska Air Cargo will ship virtually anything to more than 85 destinations.
  • Annually Alaska Air Cargo ships over 170 million pounds of cargo, including seafood, mail and freight.
  • More than 21 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood are transported each year from fishing towns throughout Alaska to markets and restaurants across the country.

Quoted from the website.

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Looks like one of the best cargo liveries 😊

Thank you Nathan for creating such a well-constructed and interesting topic! These sort of topics set the bar for other members and ultimately boost the forum quality. Kudos!

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A 737-700C exists in the world, but not a 737-700F. The-700C carries passengers as well as dedicated cargo but the -700F is a full freight aircraft. :)

Interesting, I guess I was wrong!

Alaska Air Cargo defínetely is quite interesting. They also fly some unique 737-800 variants, most notably a half cargo half passenger variant that they use to connect small isolated towns in Alaska (most notably Barrow is one of them).

Yes, this is indeed a fact. Now that the -400Cs are soon to be gone, I wonder what Alaska Airlines is going to do with those routes that once used the Combi jet. I assume they’ll just use a normal 737-700 but I’m more geared towards the Horizon Air Dash 8 being used on said routes.

We’ll see what they decide to do, though, in due time.

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This topic is proudly sponsored by @FlyFi. ☺️👋

In other news, this is gorgeous and very interesting… a cargo aircraft with split scimitars, how about that?

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That is one beautiful jet…let’s go find the feature request now.

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Not the -400Q replacement! I am sort of mad at this aircraft because I really wanted to ride on the milk run being operated by a combi

A cargo 737 with split scimitars will look perfect. I’ve never seen such a new looking 737F before.

You are absolutely correct. I love the new Alaska Airlines livery, in general. :)

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I have had the opportunity of flying on the Alaska -400C with a load of cargo in the front. It was recent, on my way to college in fact. I would post pictures, but I think that would be off-topic. I think I might make a feature request for the plane or livery…

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