Alaska Airlines lifeline to Far North helped by new 737s

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To prepare for the deployment of Alaska's first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the company retired 400-series "classics". The five combis and single dedicated freighter were all 400-series aircraft.The 400s were nearing the end of their useful life for Alaska Airlines.Mr Berry said that the new freighters can carry approximately 39,500 lbs at maximum load under optimal conditions.Compare that with the old combi aircraft, which were extremely weight sensitive and dependent on having the right number of passengers booked in the rear compartment. "We would normally move 12-13,000 lbs per flight."The previous freighter could carry 36,000 lbs, he said, so the new freighters have a cargo-carrying advantage of 3,500 lbs over the old freighter and a whopping 26,500 lbs. capacity increase over the combis, though the dedicated freighters can't carry passengers.Alaska Air's three 737-700 freighter conversions are the first of their kind. "Since taking delivery of our last aircraft at the end of February, we're quickly ramped up our scheduled service, flying our aircraft 10.5 hours per day averaging 6.7 daily cycles - this is a considerable metric for a narrow body aircraft," said Mr Berry.Mr Berry said their primary commodities carried are perishables (seafood, produce, meat, etc.), e-commerce deliveries, mail, live animals, pharmaceuticals, and other products requiring time-sensitive/express service."We are proud of the small role we play in Alaska to keep commerce moving safely and on time. Our company was founded over 85 years ago, carrying mail in the great state of Alaska, and our freighters help us carry on this tradition," he said.