Alaska Airline’s new cargo-in-cabin 737-900

(CNN) – The global pandemic has created a new aviation trend known as “preighter” flights, in which airlines retrofit their passenger cabins to hold packages instead of passengers to increase their overall cargo capacity.

Just before Christmas, Alaska Air Cargo joined the fight and unveiled an Alaska Airlines 737-900 passenger aircraft with seats that now serve as stowage containers. The cargo flights of the retrofitted aircraft in Alaska started in late November.

Alaska Air Cargo commissioned HAECO Cabin Solutions, a division of HAECO, a global company that offers aircraft construction and maintenance services, to retrofit a single Alaska Airlines passenger aircraft for pure cargo flights. HAECO Cabin Solutions designs were also used by Cathay Pacific.

Alaska Air Cargo’s load agents ensure that packages are safely stowed in the passenger cabin of their retrofitted 737-900.

Courtesy Alaska Air Cargo

A press release states: “Our teams have been working since spring to determine the safest and most effective processes to increase our cargo capacity,” said Torque Zubeck, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “HAECO’s design enables us to maximize available space, increase our cargo capacity and protect the supply chain by connecting critical cargo to the communities we serve during this public health crisis.”

Each reconfigured 737-900 flight can carry up to 30,000 pounds, including storage in the aircraft’s belly, “filling the main cabin passenger seats with an additional 13,500 pounds of cargo in addition to what a passenger-only cargo flight can carry”.

The crew for these flights consists of two pilots and two cargo cargo agents who, as stated in the press release, “take control of the cargo, ensure proper labeling and integrity of cargo, ensure fire-fighting if necessary, and ensure that cargo is safe and is safe. ” the storage system for seat packages. “

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