Expressjetphx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (12 years 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2489 times:
I wanted to get your thoughts on a replacement for Alaska's inter-Alaska services. The CRJ would do well for pax revenue, but cargo and mail is a huge part of their inter-Alaska service. Any thoughts on a viable option?
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2393 times:
This is a really interesting topic....there is no aircraft that can replace the 732 on the intra-Alaska routes. Its a combination of factors: the FAA has changed its rules and attitude towards combi aircraft (specifically the dividing bulkhead between the cargo and pax compartments), the lower slung engines on the newer 737s make unimproved runway operations difficult, if not impossible, and regional jets are not the answer because, as you stated, cargo capacity is so important on these "life-line" intra-Alaska routes. There was a reason that Alaska, Wein Consolidated, and Mark Air, all of whom operated intra-Alaksa routes at one time or another, operated the 737-200Combi.
The only solution that may possibly happen is that at some point, Alaska will try to seperate its cargo and pax operations to the subject cities, operating newer 737s (or another type) for passengers and retaining the 732s (or purchasing 733 Frieghers) for cargo operations......as for the unimproved runways, I would think that if commerical airservice was vital to the survival of the community, federal monies would be allocated for improvement of the runway in the future if there was no other reasonable alternative.