Alaska Air Cargo Delivers 18,000 Pounds of Wild Copper River Salmon to Seattle

A fish-filled Alaska Airlines jet touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6 a.m. today, carrying 18,000 pounds of wild Alaska Copper River salmon — about 4,500 more...

SEATTLE, May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A fish-filled Alaska Airlines jet touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 6 a.m. today, carrying 18,000 pounds of wild Alaska Copper River salmon — about 4,500 more pounds than the weight of a Learjet 31. A second plane carrying an additional 30,000 pounds is scheduled to arrive in Seattle around 10:20 a.m. Today officially marks the start of the salmon season that is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Alaska Airlines will operate up to five more flights today transporting the coveted Copper River salmon caught for three seafood processors: Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods. The extra Copper River salmon flights will depart Cordova, Alaska, and arrive in Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska, where the fish will be shipped throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the United States today and through the weekend.

"Alaska Air Cargo is proud to deliver the largest catch of wild Copper River salmon from our namesake state to the masses here in Seattle and across the country," said Betsy Bacon, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. "As the salmon season gets into full swing, our team is prepared to continue to bring fresh Alaska salmon to restaurants and consumers in the Lower 48 and points beyond."

Alaska plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. The carrier flew nearly 25 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond last year, including nearly 1.2 million pounds of Copper River salmon.

Chefs compete in sixth annual Copper Chef Cook-off

Following the arrival, a 53-pound king salmon will become the catch of the day for three top Seattle chefs competing for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo’s sixth annual "Copper Chef Cook-off." Executive chef and last year’s Copper Chef winner John Howie, of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, will compete against executive chefs Eric Tanaka of TanakaSan and Ethan Stowell of Staple & Fancy and Tavolata. In an "Iron Chef" type competition, the three culinary craftsmen will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to a panel of four judges including Seattle Seahawks’ first and legendary quarterback Jim Zorn; Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner; Seattle Storm President and General Manager Alisha Valavanis; and Alaska Air Cargo’s Managing Director Betsy Bacon.

The airline will announce the winning Copper River salmon recipe on its Twitter account @AlaskaAir. Salmon lovers are encouraged to share their favorite ways to eat Copper River salmon using the hashtag #CopperRiverSalmon. Download the chefs’ recipes at and follow the Copper River salmon along its journey from Cordova to the Lower 48 on Alaska Airlines blog at

Note to media: High-resolution photographs of the Copper River salmon and Alaska Air Cargo’s "Copper Chef Cook-off" will be posted to Alaska Airlines’ blog at by 10 a.m. Pacific time, May 15, 2015.

Alaska Airlines transports more than 109 million pounds of cargo annually—including seafood, mail and freight —and operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the U.S. West Coast of any passenger airline.

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for eight consecutive years from 2008 to 2015. Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan also ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs" in the J.D. Power 2014 and 2015 Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at


SOURCE Alaska Airlines