New Plane Changing The Alaskan Freight Dynamic.

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by Mike Ford

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the 5th largest airport in the world in terms of cargo throughput. Beginning this week Cathay Pacific Airways is welcoming a new plane to its lineup that will increase cargo volume at the airport even further.

Built in Everett Washington and delivered to Cathay Pacific just six weeks ago the Boeing 747-8 freighter is being called the worlds most efficient freighter. Advanced technology in the wing engineering and the engines makes the plane more environmentally friendly burning less fuel with fewer emissions.

The 747-8 is 30 percent quieter and can hold 16% more than the standard 747 allowing for seven additional pallets of cargo. Anchorage station manager for Cathay, Kevin Miller is excited about the added opportunity the 747-8 will bring to Alaska."As we get more of these in our system we could be seeing two or three of these things coming in a day and in the long run it's just going to add up"

Anchorage is a logical stop for the new generation 747 given we are equal distance between Tokyo and New York. Alaska Commissioner for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Marc Luiken
sees why Alaska is such an attractive destination for carriers. "We can advertise that 95 percent of the time we have clear weather for these aircraft and 100 percent of the time at one of our two airports (Anchorage or Fairbanks)is going to be open all year long. That's important for these guys. They know when they leave China or Korea or Japan and they make that commitment to come across the Pacific they are going to have a place to land"


The Alaska International Airport system(Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports) are currently home to over 30 international and domestic airlines serving nearly 6 million passengers a year.

The system is one of Alaska's success stories, continuing to grow by embracing new technologies to improve Alaska's economic status.