Alaska Air Cargo Delivers Season’s First Copper River Salmon to Seattle

Alaska Air Cargo delivered the season's first shipment of Copper River salmon today to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of Copper River salmon marks the start of the summer salmon...

SEATTLE, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Air Cargo delivered the season’s first shipment of Copper River salmon today to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of Copper River salmon marks the start of the summer salmon season and is anticipated by seafood lovers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Alaska Airlines plane arrived early this morning with Copper River king and sockeye salmon from three seafood processors: Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods. At least five more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska, Seattle and across the United States.

Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. The carrier flew more than 22 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond last year, including nearly 700,000 pounds of Copper River salmon.

"We’re proud to bring this prized, wild Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 and points beyond," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. "With enhanced food quality procedures and additional flights to support the Alaska seafood industry, we are going the extra mile to deliver fresh seafood throughout the country."

Copper Chef Cook-off

Following the arrival of the first fish, top Seattle chefs will compete for the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo’s "Copper Chef Cook-off." Executive chef and last year’s Copper Chef winner Pat Donahue, of Anthony’s Restaurants, will compete against executive chefs from Elliott’s Oyster House and SkyCity at the Space Needle. The chefs will have 30 minutes to prepare and serve the first catch of the season to a panel of judges, including Jay Buhner, Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer; Mike Fourtner, deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit, as featured on Discovery Channel’s "Deadliest Catch;" and Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing.

The airline will use its Twitter account, @AlaskaAir, to announce the winning Copper River salmon recipe. The three recipes prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download at Fish lovers are encouraged to share their own favorite salmon recipes on Twitter, using the hashtag #CRsalmon.

Enhanced seafood quality training program

Copper River salmon shipped on Alaska Air Cargo this season will arrive as fresh as possible to grocery stores and restaurants across the nation, thanks in part to a training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables. Alaska Air Cargo employees are required to adhere to strict seafood quality standards and pass an annual food quality course.

Seafood processors and shippers follow these cool-chain standards to provide a temperature-controlled environment for proper food handling. The goal is to keep seafood moving rapidly throughout its journey on Alaska Airlines and maintain a consistent temperature range from the time it leaves the water to when it arrives at stores and restaurants.

Together with sister carrier Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines transports more than 120 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 and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve 90 cities throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit or For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at


Bobbie Egan


Beth Poole

Alaska Airlines

Copper River Salmon Association

(206) 392-5134

(206) 789-6029

SOURCE Alaska Airlines