Long a unique feature of American aviation, Alaska Airlines is retiring its last combination—‘Combi’—737 today. Alaska inaugurated 737 combi service in 1981 with 737-200s and phased in -400s in 2007. It is the last of the -400s which will leave the fleet today. Cargo previously flown on the combis will now travel on a fleet of recently converted 737-700 freighters.

Last Flights

Alaska will retire its last of Combi, registered N764AS, to Seattle tonight. Here are the remaining flights (all times local):

2017-10-18Cordova (CDV)Anchorage (ANC)AS6113:3714:22
2017-10-18Anchorage (ANC)Cordova (CDV)AS6615:2016:06
2017-10-18Cordova (CDV)Yakutat (YAK)AS6616:5617:42
2017-10-18Yakutat (YAK)Juneau (JNU)AS6618:3219:16
2017-10-18Juneau (JNU)Seattle (SEA)AS6620:1023:27

Alaska Airlines has used the the Combi to carry everything from milk (the aircraft used to perform a flight called the Milk Run) to reindeer. As long as it fits inside the cargo containers called igloos, it flies. The combi 737s carry cargo in the front section of the aircraft and have seats for 72 passengers in the rear.

A close up of the combi, with the large cargo door visible in front and passenger cabin in rear

Replacing the Combis

The Combis will be replaced by three converted former passenger 737-700s. Alaska is the first airline in the world to convert the 737-700 into a freighter. Work was done by Bedek Aviation in Tel Aviv, which also converts aircraft for Amazon Prime Air, among others. As you can see in the the image below, the front left section of the aircraft was heavily modified to include a large cargo door and the windows were plugged. The first Alaska Airlines 737-700(BDSF) registered N627AS entered service on 26 September.

The new 737-700(BDSF), the first ever converted 737-700

Track the entire Alaska Airlines fleet on Flightradar24.


Feature image © PeachAir

Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

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