Alaska Airlines has long used combi aircraft on flights and is currently the only domestic airline in the US that operates combi flights. Due to Alaska's location, size, climate and the fact that it's so different to everywhere else in the US, a cargo section on the plane has always been a great been of great benefit to them.
Most recently, Alaska Airlines is using the Boeing 737-400 combi, which has the capacity to carry 72 passengers. Passengers board and disembark from the back of the plane, which is where they're seated from row 17 onwards. The front of the plane is reserved for cargo-only.
Canadian North, an airline that focuses on the northwest territories of Canada is a great example of an airline that still uses combi aircraft to make up for the lack of demand for passenger flights on certain routes.
Canadian North uses both Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-200 to operate its flights. These aircraft are customisable, depending on how many passengers are booked and how much cargo needs to be transported.
The Boeing 737-200 can operate using the following formations:
- 76 seats/ 2 cargo pallets
- 60 seats/ 3 cargo pallets
- 34 seats/ 4 cargo pallets
- 24 seats/ 5 cargo pallets
- 6 seats/ 6 cargo pallets
The Boeing 737-300 can operate using the following formations:
- 120 seats/ 0 cargo pallets
- 80 seats/ 3 cargo pallets
Much like Canadian North, First Air uses combi aircraft on less-popular routes in the north of Canada. The airline operates combi services with the Boeing 737 400 combi, which has four pallets of cargo in the front and 72 seats for passengers in the back.
KLM has been using combi aircraft since 1975 when it took in an order of Boeing 747-200 combi planes. KLM found great use in the combi plane and — by the end of the decade — updated its fleet with Boeing 747-400s, which is the same aircraft that it uses for combi flights today.
The combi aircraft fly from KLM's hub airport, Amsterdam Schiphol, to various destinations across the world, including to the US, India, Kenya and China.
KLM's combi aircraft are unique in the fact that they have Economy Class, Premium Economy and Business Class seats within the passenger section of the cabin. The aircraft has two decks — the upper deck is exclusively Business Class, whereas the lower deck is a mix of Business Class, Premium Economy, Economy Class and cargo, which is located at the rear of the plane. The aircraft has the capacity to carry up to 268 passengers and 7 pallets.