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Alaska Airlines freighter conversionANCHORAGE. September 26, 2017. Alaska Air Cargo has begun operating the world's first Boeing 737-700 passenger-to-cargo conversion with an inaugural flight from Seattle, WA to Alaska.

"This one-of-a-kind aircraft marks the beginning of a new era at Alaska Airlines," said Wayne Newton, vice president of Airport Operations and Customer Service. "With an all-freight fleet, our cargo business is now a stand-alone operation, allowing us to better focus on the needs of our cargo customers."

The aircraft, the first of three being converted by Israel Aerospace Industries for Alaska, has a range of 3,200 NM and a net payload of 42,000 pounds. The airline plans to retire its four B737-400 Combi fleet by October 18.

"The new freighter will transform our cargo business and allow us to provide more efficient and consistent service," added Jason Berry, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. "Now we can move more freight than ever before, and optimize schedules to meet the needs of our cargo partners."

With one B737-400 freighter and four Combi aircraft, the airline's annual cargo volume has topped 170 million pounds of seafood, mail and freight between 17 destinations in Alaska and the U.S. West Coast.

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