Alaska Air Cargo grows 737 freighter fleet

Photo: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Cargo has taken delivery of the first of two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) aircraft from lessor Babcock & Brown Aircraft Management (BBAM).

The US cargo carrier plans to use the aircraft for expanded freight service in Alaska and beyond in the coming months. 

The two 737-800 aircraft are from Alaska Airlines’ existing passenger fleet.

The first aircraft recently completed conversion at Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA), a maintenance facility in Costa Rica. 

A second aircraft will be converted by Boeing at KF Aerospace in British Columbia. Alaska Cargo plans to have both BCFs in service by the end of the first quarter of next year.

“We look forward to welcoming this first of two Boeing 737-800s into our current fleet,” said Adam Drouhard, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “These additional aircraft will nearly double our current cargo capacity and extend the range of our network for our customers.

“We appreciate BBAM and Boeing’s support in converting these former Alaska Airlines passenger aircraft to freighters and allowing us to expand our lift at Alaska Air Cargo.”

“BBAM is excited to deliver its first Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft to Alaska Airlines. The aircraft will deliver flexibility, capability and operational efficiency across Alaska Air Cargo’s growing cargo network. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Alaska,” added Steve Zissis, president and chief executive of BBAM. 

This is the fifth and sixth North American placement of the 737-800BCF for BBAM as part of its commitment with Boeing for 40 conversions of the type.

The 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter is equipped with CFM56-7B engines and carries a maximum structural payload of 23.9 tons with 12 maindeck positions. It flies more than 2,000 nautical miles with a maximum payload.

As well as its 737-800, Alaska Air Cargo utilises a fleet of 737-700Fs to serve 20 communities in the state of Alaska. The carrier also offers belly cargo service on a fleet of over 300 passenger planes serving the continental US, CanadaHawaiiMexico and Costa Rica.

Air Cargo News has contacted Alaska Air Cargo for confirmation of how many freighters it currently has in its fleet.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]