Alaska Air Cargo tests passenger jets as cargo-only flights for critical cargo

Alaska Air Cargo has announced it will fly passenger aircraft jets to fly critical cargo like mail, medical equipment, e-commerce packages and food throughout its domestic network, the company said.

Filling the passenger cabin with cargo will backfill the loss in capacity across the continental United States and Hawaii after passenger flights were reduced.

In addition to Air Cargo´s dedicated three freighters, six Boeing 737-900 aircraft will be utilized as cargo-only aircraft. Boxes, mail and other items will be placed on and under seats, in overhead bins and in closets — to offer 13,500 more pounds of cargo than what a passenger-only flight could carry. In total, each flight will carry up to 30,000 pounds, which includes belly capacity.

If approved by the FAA, the passenger-only aircraft would begin flying throughout the United States in May.