The Boeing 737-400 freighter – with 50% more capacity than the aircraft it replace -- has been introduced by the airline, part of a $100 million plan to expand and modernize Alaska Airlines cargo operations. Presently, along with its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the two serve 88 cities in a network that spans Alaska, the lower 48 states, Canada and Mexico.
Basically a passenger airline, Alaska Air is retiring seven 737-200 cargo aircraft, replacing them with the larger 737-400, and four combi aircraft that carry both cargo and passengers. Overall, there will be 20% more freight capacity.
Alaska Airlines moves more than 150 million pounds of freight annually, which includes seafood, mail and freight. Its cargo operations include almost 30 million pounds of fresh seafood from Alaskan fishing towns moved to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest each year.