Category Archives: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines’ IAM employees ratify a new 5-year contract

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) 2,500 clerical, office and passenger service employees, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a new five-year contract. The contract was approved by 62 percent of those who voted.

The contract includes pay raises and job security provisions, among other improvements.

The previous three-year contract became amendable on January 1, 2014 and a tentative agreement was reached on February 3, 2014. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Q8 N754AS (msn 25095) arrives at Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Alaska Airlines protects its most important Seattle/Tacoma markets with double miles

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is stepping up to protect its top markets from the Seattle/Tacoma hub with a double miles offer through 2014. The company just issued this statement:

Alaska Airlines is making it easier for travelers flying to and from Seattle/Tacoma to fly more with double frequent flier miles* on eight of its most popular routes to and from the Emerald City.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members who enroll in the program before their first qualifying flights will earn double miles on flights through December 31, 2014, between Seattle/Tacoma and the following cities:

Anchorage, Alaska
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Oakland, California
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose, California
Vancouver, British Columbia

The carrier will also offer double miles** from June 1 to Sept. 1, 2014, on flights between Seattle/Tacoma and Fairbanks, Alaska, and Seattle/Tacoma and Juneau, Alaska.

Alaska Airlines operates 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 73 destinations from Seattle. It also operates more daily flights (170 during peak season) to more destinations (28) within the state of Alaska and from Alaska to the Lower 48 states and Hawaii than any other major carrier.

* Double miles promotion terms: Registration is required prior to your first qualifying flight, and must be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2014. Double miles offer is valid only on qualifying paid nonstop flights between Seattle and Anchorage; Seattle and Los Angeles; Seattle and Oakland; Seattle and San Diego; Seattle and San Francisco; Seattle and San Jose; Seattle and Vancouver; and Seattle and Las Vegas from June 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014. Flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines. Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ account in order to earn double miles. All travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2014. Not valid on free or award travel. Double miles do not count toward Mileage Plan elite status. Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account. All terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan program apply. Offer subject to change without notice.

** Double miles offer terms: Registration is required for non-Club 49 members prior to your first qualifying flight, and must be completed no later than Sept. 1, 2014. Club 49 members will automatically be registered for this promotion. Double miles offer is valid only on qualifying paid nonstop flights between Seattle and Fairbanks and between Seattle and Juneau from June 1, 2014, through Sept. 1, 2014. Flights must be marketed and operated by Alaska Airlines. Flight miles must be credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account in order to earn double miles. All travel must be completed by Sept. 1, 2014. Not valid on free or award travel. Double miles do not count towards Mileage Plan Elite Status. Please allow four to six weeks for miles to be credited to your Mileage Plan account. All terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan program apply. Offer subject to change without notice.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N552AS (msn 34595) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines files an application to fly from Seattle/Tacoma to Cancun

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has submitted its application today to begin seasonal nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Cancun, Mexico. Pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Mexico Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC), the airline plans to begin its daily service to Cancun on November 6.

Alaska Airlines introduced service to Mexico in 1988 and operates more nonstop flights between the West Coast and Mexico than any other carrier, flying an average of 1.5 million passengers a year. Alaska already serves six Mexico beach destinations — Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta — in addition to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will now offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 79 destinations from Seattle, more than any other carrier.

Summary of new daily Seattle/Tacoma service:

Seattle/Tacoma – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle/Tacoma – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle/Tacoma – Baltimore/Washington (BWI): starting September 2
Seattle/Tacoma – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle/Tacoma – Albuquerque: starting September 18
Seattle/Tacoma – Cancun: starting November 6 pending governmental approval

When approved, the Seattle/Tacoma-Cancun route will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N534AS (msn 35202) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to bring movies and TV shows to its passenger’s personal electronic devices

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will offer a new, customizable inflight entertainment option, bringing movies, TV and other content directly to customers’ personal electronic devices onboard its flights by the end of the year.

The enhancement is part of a $100 million investment that Alaska Airlines is making to upgrade the cabins of its 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft with seats that feature both a personal space-enhancing design and 110-volt and USB power outlets. By this summer, about half of Alaska’s fleet will have the new seats and 36 airplanes will be equipped with power outlets. The carrier expects to finish upgrades to its fleet and offer the new inflight entertainment system on flights starting this fall.

The new system, called Gogo Vision, will allow customers to use their own laptop, tablet or smart phone to access more than 100 movies, 50 television shows and unique content, personalizing their onboard entertainment experience on Alaska Airlines. Since the movies are installed on stand-alone servers on each aircraft, broadband access to Gogo’s inflight Wi-Fi will not be compromised.

Prices for Gogo Vision will range from under $6 for movies and under $3 for television content.

Alaska Airlines also announced this week that Gogo has completed its Canadian air-to-ground Wi-Fi network, allowing uninterrupted inflight Internet coverage for the carrier’s numerous routes between the Lower 48 and the state of Alaska. Previously, Gogo Internet was unavailable for select periods when Alaska Airlines’ aircraft were flying over Canada.

With Gogo Internet, Alaska Airlines passengers can browse the Web, interact on social media, send and receive e-mail, and connect to virtual private networks while flying. The easy-to-use service provides passengers with full Internet access on any Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or personal electronic device at speeds similar to wireless mobile broadband services on the ground.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 WL N319AS (msn 33679) taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announce aggressive sustainability goals

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma) have announced aggressive 2020 sustainability goals, pledging to decrease fuel consumption by 20 percent, use a sustainable aviation biofuel at one or more airports and increase its recruitment of military veterans.

These are among a series of goals and accomplishments highlighted in Alaska Air Group’s newly released 2013 Sustainability Report, which summarizes the company’s progress on environmental, social and economic goals.

Among the most significant accomplishments made since the airlines’ last Sustainability Report are improvements in fuel efficiency, which saved Alaska Air Group more than 10 million gallons of fuel since 2011. The airlines also cut waste by 50 percent per passenger, saving nearly 2,900 tons of recyclables that otherwise would have gone to landfills. In all, the airlines have reduced their greenhouse gases by more than 30 percent per revenue mile since 2004 as part of the company’s efforts to be a greener neighbor within the communities where it flies.

Air Group’s Sustainability Report analyzes the airlines’ efforts from Jan.1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013. It is the company’s second comprehensive report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative G4 Core Guidelines, an international standard for sustainability reporting on people the planet and performance.

Key highlights of the last two years include:

Flight attendants collected for recycling nearly 2,900 tons of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass waste onboard Alaska and Horizon flights in the last two years, cutting in half the amount of waste sent to landfills since 2010. That amount weighs the same as more than 1,600 cars. Alaska and Horizon are the only airlines that recycle on every domestic flight.

Air Group signed an off-take agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy to buy sustainable aviation biofuels from the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 2018. The airline has set a goal of using sustainable biofuels at one or more of its airports by 2020.

Alaska and Horizon cut emissions another 2.8 percent over the last reporting period (2011), for a total 30.4 percent reduction in carbon emissions since 2004 (measured by flying one passenger one mile).

Alaska Air Group contributed $15.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions to more than 1,300 charitable organizations since 2011.
All Horizon Air flights and three-quarters of Alaska Airlines flights arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are using a new method of airport approaches, which allow aircraft to fly shorter, continuous descents. Estimates are that Greener Skies approaches will save more than 2 million gallons of fuel annually for all properly equipped airlines and reduced emissions by 22,400 metric tons of CO2—equal to the emissions contained in 96 rail cars of coal. Noise exposure for an estimated 750,000 people in the Puget Sound region has also been reduced.

Alaska and Horizon reduced fuel use by 10 million gallons since 2011 (as measured per revenue passenger mile) by flying the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400 — the most fuel-efficient aircraft in their classes. The airlines installed winglets on aircraft, used cutting-edge satellite navigation procedures and switched to electric vehicles for airport operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, among other measures. The International Council on Clean Transportation ranked Alaska Airlines No. 1 in fuel efficiency among U.S. domestic airlines in 2013.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air increased their employee engagement scores by 20 percent over 2011. Engagement measures employee satisfaction and involvement with their jobs.

In other news, Alaska Airlines will drop the following unprofitable routes according to Airline Route:

Los Angeles-San Jose, CA (April 5)

Portland, OR-Long Beach (August 23)

Portland, OR-Atlanta (September 1)

Denver-Anchorage (summer seasonal)

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N323AS (msn 30021) gracefully climbs away from the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub and home.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air): AG Slide Show

Summer seasonal Denver – Anchorage service is also cancelled.

Alaska Airlines becomes the first U.S. airline to allow self-tagging of bags on select routes

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will be the first U.S. airline to allow self-tagging of bags from home on select introductory routes. The airline issued this statement:

Self-tag online debuts on April 21 for passengers traveling nonstop between Seattle/Tacoma and San Diego, Anchorage or Juneau, Alaska, with plans to expand the option for customers traveling from other airports later this summer. This launch follows the completion of a successful pilot program, which was offered to customers traveling between Seattle/Tacoma and Hawaii in 2013.

Starting on April 21, travelers flying to or from any of the four debut cities will receive a pre-trip email with a link to request a free reusable bag tag holder by mail. Tag holders will also be available to pick up at each of the four airports. Passengers who elect to self-tag will enjoy a designated Self-Tag Express™ lane when they arrive at the airport.

Alaska Self-Tag Express logo

How self-tag online works:

Book a trip at http://www.alaskaair.com.
Follow instructions in your pre-trip email to request a bag tag holder by mail or pick up a holder in person at one of the four participating airports.
Check in online up to 24 hours before your flight and follow the instructions to print a bag tag at home.
Insert printed bag tag into the tag holder.
At the airport, follow signs for Self-Tag Express™ lanes.
Show the agent your boarding pass, identification and drop off your bags.

Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to launch self-bag tagging from home, another chapter in the carrier’s long history of pioneering technologies and innovations to make flying easier. Alaska was the first airline in North America to sell tickets over the Internet, and the first in the world to allow customers to check in and print boarding passes online. Last year, the carrier installed kiosks with self-tagging printers at 10 airport locations including Seattle/Tacoma, Anchorage and Portland, Oregon.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N703AS (msn 28893) departs from Anchorage International Airport (ANC), one of the introductory cities for self-tagging.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines will start Seattle/Tacoma-Baltimore/Washington nonstop flights on September 2

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has announced new nonstop service today from its Seattle/Tacoma hub to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) starting on September 2.

This will be followed by Seattle/Tacoma-Albuquerque, New Mexico nonstop flights starting on September 18.

Alaska Airlines issued this statement and also deleted routes:

Alaska Airlines is growing its Seattle/Tacoma hub again with the addition of new daily nonstop service to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Baltimore. The cities are in addition to previously announced service to Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa, Florida, scheduled to begin this June and September.

With the new flights, Alaska Airlines will now offer 279 peak-day departures nonstop to 78 destinations from Seattle.

Summary of new daily service:

Seattle – New Orleans: starting June 12
Seattle – Tampa: starting June 20
Seattle – Baltimore: starting September 2
Seattle – Detroit: starting September 4
Seattle – Albuquerque: starting September 18

Other Schedule Changes

As part of its overall network strategy, Alaska Airlines is discontinuing service between four city pairs: Los Angeles and San Jose, California, on April 5; Portland, Oregon, and Long Beach, California, on August 23; Atlanta and Portland on September 1; and previously announced summer Anchorage-Denver flights.

Introducing Albuquerque and Baltimore

The new routes will be flown with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska already serves the area through Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). BWI is the stronghold of rival Southwest Airlines. Boeing 737-890 N528AS (msn 35696) completes the river approach into DCA.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Delta Air Lines reduces its code-share agreement with Alaska Airlines at Seattle/Tacoma

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is reducing its code-share agreement with Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport per Airline Route. The move is not a surprise as Delta has been adding its own feeder flights at SEA to support its long-range routes.

Effective June 5, 2014 Delta will remove its DL code on Alaska Airlines flights from Seattle/Tacoma to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

This will be followed on July 1 when Delta removes its DL code on Alaska flights to Anchorage and Houston (Bush Intercontinental).

Finally the Seattle/Tacoma-Phoenix route will be dropped on December 20, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 N333NW (msn 329) of Delta Air Lines taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines is again the official airline of the Iditarod Dog Race

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will again serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 36th year the carrier has supported the event.

As the official airline of the Iditarod, Alaska continues its tradition of presenting the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. Voted on by trail veterinarians, the Leonhard Seppala award is named after one of Alaska’s most-celebrated mushers, whose 1925 sled-dog team traveled the longest distance to transport diphtheria serum to Nome.

As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines also will help provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for 45 Iditarod veterinarians who come to Alaska from across the United States to care for the race dogs’ health and safety.

In addition, many Alaska Airlines employees contribute their time at the event. Among them are several pilots who lead the Iditarod Air Force, flying veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) in the “Spirit of Alaska Statehood” special color scheme departs from Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Employees of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air receive the highest profit-sharing bonuses today

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air‘s (Seattle/Tacoma) employees are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to $1,150 in 2013 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.

The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $105 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.

“Our company’s success wouldn’t be possible without the award-winning customer service, industry-leading on-time performance and solid execution by our outstanding employees,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. “On behalf of the leadership teams at Alaska and Horizon Air, I want to thank and congratulate our people for their terrific efforts.”

Nearly $51.3 million in annual bonuses — 62 percent of the total — is being paid to about 6,400 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $11 million is being paid to 2,026 employees in thePortland, Ore., area, while $8.2 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.

“It’s really great to work for a company that recognizes all of their employees who contribute to the success of their business,” said JoAnne Ryan, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent based in Seattle. “The fact thatAlaska includes all workgroups in the incentive-based pay program just reinforces to me that I work for a company that values me as an employee, and the work I do makes a difference in our success.”

Ryan said she plans to use her bonus to pay off bills and take a two-week vacation to Australia.

Bonuses in Alaska Air Group’s Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $538 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses, which is about 5.75 percent on average each year.

As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 5 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.

In addition to the financial benefit the employee bonuses provide to the Puget Sound area, the 22,000 jobs at Alaska Air Group and in related industries in Washington state generate $5.6 billion in annual economic activity.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N306AS 9msn 30014) arrives in Los Angeles.

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Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants reject the tentative agreement, demand improvements

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have voted down a tentative agreement with management.

According to the union, “negotiations began two years ago and, in May 2013, AFA filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board. During negotiations, Alaska Airlines earned record-breaking profits and continued to earn top awards and accolades for customer satisfaction with the assistance of the Flight Attendants. Next, AFA will re-survey the over 3,100 Flight Attendants to determine their top priorities.  The National Mediation Board retains oversight of future negotiations.”

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N323AS (msn 30021) taxies to the active runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport base and hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air to offer free local beers in Alaska

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) issued this announcement about the upcoming Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) service in the state of Alaska starting on March 3:

Travelers on Alaska Airlines flights between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak will soon enjoy an extra infusion of local flavor in the form of Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling Co.’s Old 55 Pale Ale.

Passengers will have the opportunity to sample the moderately hopped, American-style pale ale free of charge beginning March 3, when Alaska Airlines introduces the Bombardier Q400 to the state of Alaska. The flights will be operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon). These flights will feature complimentary soft drinks, Starbucks coffee, Northwest wine and microbrews (for passengers 21 and older), and A la Cart planeside baggage service.

Silver Gulch Beer (Alaska)(LRW)

The brewery, which has locations in Anchorage and north of Fairbanks, will bottle the beer in stainless steel “Kleen Kanteens,” (above) which are lighter, stronger and more environmentally friendly than traditional glass bottles.

Samples are about 6.5 ounces and will be offered to customers on flights operating after 11 a.m.

Travelers can pick up their very own Kleen Kanteens (or traditional glass growlers) filled with their favorite Silver Gulch beers at the brewery’s restaurant in the C Concourse at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport or at the brewery and restaurant in Fox, Alaska.

Horizon Air is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group and flies to 39 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling was founded in Fox, Alaska, in 1998 by two lifelong Alaskans. Silver Gulch is America’s most northern brewery, located at the start of the “haul road” to Prudhoe Bay about 11 miles north of Fairbanks. Silver Gulch opened its first restaurant adjacent to the brewery in 2007, later opening a restaurant at Anchorage International Airport in 2012. Silver Gulch maintains a selection of 12 or more freshly brewed ales and lagers year-round, many of which are available at fine dining and drinking establishments throughout Alaska.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N452QX (man 4459) arrives in San Diego in the special Employee Signatures color scheme.

Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon): AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines to add new routes to Detroit, New Orleans and Tampa

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is adding nonstop daily service from Seattle/Tacoma to New Orleans and Tampa, Florida, starting on June 12 and June 20, respectively, and to Detroit starting on September 4.

Summary of new service:
Seattle-New Orleans
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 12 Seattle-New Orleans 10:15 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Daily
June 12 New Orleans-Seattle 5:55 p.m. 8:50 p.m. Daily
Seattle-Tampa, Fla.
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 20 Seattle-Tampa 8:50 a.m. 5:30 p.m. Daily
June 20 Tampa-Seattle 6:30 p.m. 9:25 p.m. Daily
  Seattle-Detroit
Start Date City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Sept. 4 Seattle-Detroit 9:05 a.m. 4:14 p.m. Daily
Sept. 4 Detroit-Seattle 5:20 p.m. 6:55 p.m. Daily

All times based on local time zones.

The routes will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft. Alaska Airlines flies to more destinations from Seattle/Tacoma than any other carrier, including 21 cities east of the Rocky Mountains.

In other news, Alaska Airlines is launching new service between Portland, Oregon, and Kalispell, Montana, this summer. The flights will operate seasonally between Portland and Kalispell from June 9 to August 23, connecting Portland-area residents to the natural beauty of northwest Montana.

Summary of new service:

Service dates City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 9 – Aug. 23 Portland-Kalispell 3:55 p.m. 6:20 p.m. Daily
June 9 – Aug. 23 Kalispell-Portland 6:50 p.m. 7:25 p.m. Daily
All times based on local time zones

The new route will be operated with Horizon Air’s (Alaska Horizon) Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s) (see above).

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s new DHC-8-402 (Q400) N441QX (msn 4348) in the Alaska Nanooks special livery arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and the IAM tentatively agree on a new five-year contract

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 2,500 clerical, office and passenger service employees.

The proposed contract includes pay raises and job security provisions, among other improvements.

The current three-year contract became amendable on January 1. Results of a ratification vote on the new contract are expected in early April. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N570AS (msn 35185) decorated in the “Follow Us to Disneyland Resort – Disney Cars” motif arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Is Alaska Airlines moving closer to American Airlines?

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma), as we have previously reported, has been trading “I will match you” route additions with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) at their respective hubs at Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Salt Lake City (SLC). These moves come even though Alaska Airlines has an extensive feeder and code-share relationship with Delta. Delta even named a new Boeing 737 after the city of Seattle! Simply put, each carrier feeds each other at both SEA and SLC. However that close relationship began to unravel when Delta started adding feeder routes of its own at SEA, basically inferring to Alaska the relationship could be on the rocks. The aggressive move at SEA by Delta may have spurred Alaska to look to the new American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) (soon to become the largest airline in the world) for help and possibly a closer relationship. The two carriers already have a code-share relationship. A merger is probably out of the question since AA is becoming the largest carrier already and already had to overcome DOJ merger objections. The question will be in 2014 and beyond, will both carriers expand their relationship to fight off the advances of Delta at SEA?

Ted Reed of The Street (of Jim Cramer fame) looks at this intriguing question: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N586AS (msn 35189), despite the Hawaiian Lei on the tail, arrives at a frigid Washington Reagan National Airport on January 18, 2014. The famous Eskimo tail emblem is expected to survive the next livery for Alaska Airlines that has been promised for this year.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group reports 4Q net income of $78 million and $508 net income for 2013, a new record

Alaska Air Group Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported fourth quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $78 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $44 million, or $0.61 per diluted share in 2012. Excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge gains of $2 million ($1 million after tax, or $0.01 per diluted share), the company reported record fourth quarter 2013 net income of $77 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared to net income excluding mark-to-market fuel hedge losses of $50 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, in 2012.

The company reported full-year 2013 GAAP net income of $508 million, compared to $316 million in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the items noted in the table below, the company reported record net income of $383 million, or $5.40 per diluted share for 2013, compared to net income of $339 million, or $4.73 per diluted share in 2012. This marks the fourth  year in a row the company has exceeded its goal of a 10 percent return on invested capital.

The following table reconciles the company’s adjusted net income and earnings per diluted share (EPS) during the full year and fourth quarters of 2013 and 2012 to amounts as reported in accordance with GAAP:

Three Months Ended Dec. 31,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 78 $ 1.11 $ 44 $ 0.61
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax (1) (0.01) 6 0.09
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per share amounts $ 77 $ 1.10 $ 50 $ 0.70
12 Months Ended Dec. 31,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 508 $ 7.16 $ 316 $ 4.40
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax (5) (0.06) 23 0.33
Special mileage plan revenue, net of tax $ (120) $ (1.70) $ $
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per share amounts $ 383 $ 5.40 $ 339 $ 4.73

Financial Highlights:

  • Record fourth quarter net income, excluding special items, of $77 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared to $50 million, or $0.70 per diluted share in 2012. This quarter’s results compare to a First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.07 per share.
  • Record full-year net income, excluding special items, of $383 million, or $5.40 per diluted share, compared to$339 million, or $4.73 per diluted share in 2012.
  • Net income for the fourth quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $78 million, or$1.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $44 million, or $0.61 per diluted share in 2012. Full-year GAAP net income of $508 million, or $7.16 per diluted share, compared to net income of $316 million, or $4.40per diluted share in 2012.
  • Air Group employees earned $105 million in incentive pay in 2013, or nearly five weeks of pay for most employees. Over the last four years, employees have earned more than $357 million in incentive pay, averaging 8.8% of annual pay for most employees.
  • Achieved return on invested capital of 13.6% in 2013, compared to 13% in 2012.
  • Lowered adjusted debt-to-total capitalization ratio to 35% as of Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Fully funded the company’s defined benefit pension plans in 2013.
  • Held $1.3 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Repurchased 2,492,093 shares of common stock for approximately $159 million in 2013. Since 2007, Air Group has used $478 million to repurchase 21 million shares.
  • Modified  affinity card agreement with Bank of America and extended through 2017, estimated to generate $55 million in additional cash flows annually.
  • Received a credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s to “BB+” with a stable outlook.

Other Highlights and Achievements:

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” by J.D. Power for the sixth year in a row.
  • Ranked as the best U.S. major airline by The Wall Street Journal’s “Middle Seat” scorecard.
  • Named Airline Industry Leader in the 2013 Temkin Customer Service Rankings.
  • Held the top spot in U.S. Department of Transportation on-time performance among major U.S. airlines for the 12 months ended November 2013.
  • Alaska Airlines received the FAA’s “Diamond Certificate of Excellence” award for the 12th consecutive year; and Horizon Air received the certificate for the 12th time in the last 14 years.
  • Improved employee productivity in 2013 by 4.0% compared to 2012.
  • Signed five-year collective bargaining agreements with Alaska pilots and Horizon flight attendants.
  • Named most fuel-efficient airline in the U.S. in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
  • Donated $7.6 million to more than 1,300 charitable organizations, including support for the grand opening of Aviation High School in Seattle and other educational efforts. Our employees also volunteered more than 10,500 hours of community service.
  • Signed an exclusive multi-year partnership with Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, and named him our “Chief Football Officer.”

New routes:

  • New routes launched and announced in the fourth quarter are as follows:
New Nonstop Routes Launched in Q4 New Nonstop Routes (Launch Date)
Seattle – Colorado Springs Portland – Salt Lake City (6/9/14)
Portland – Tucson San Diego – Salt Lake City (6/10/14)
Portland – Boise Los Angeles – Salt Lake City (6/11/14)
San Diego – Boise San Jose – Salt Lake City (6/12/14)
Seattle – Omaha Boise – Salt Lake City (6/16/14)
Portland – Reno Las Vegas – Salt Lake City (6/16/14)
Seattle – Steamboat Springs San Francisco – Salt Lake City (6/18/14)
Anchorage – Phoenix
Anchorage – Las Vegas
San Diego – Mammoth Lakes

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N318AS (msn 30018) in the “We’re Going to Disneyland Resort” special livery arrives in Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders two additional Boeing 737-900 ERs

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has ordered two additional 737-900 ER (Extended Range) airplanes.  The agreement, worth $192 million at current list prices, coincides with the direct delivery of the 100th Next-Generation 737 airplane (Boeing 737-990 ER N453AS, msn 36354) to Alaska Airlines.

The aircraft order and delivery of Alaska’s 100th Next-Generation 737 (N453AS) was marked by a special celebration and delivery flight attended by 50 frontline employees from the airline and 50 Boeing employees.

The largest and newest model in the Next-Generation 737 family, the 737-900 ER can carry up to 26 more passengers or fly about 500 nautical miles (926 km) farther than the 737-900. Alaska Airlines operates the 737-900 ER in a two-class configuration with 181 seats and features the Boeing Sky Interior.

The longer range of the 737-900 ER can connect distant city pairs across continents, such as Seattle/Tacoma andOrlando, Florida, in a generous two-class configuration. It has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile.

The Boeing Sky Interior is the latest in a series of enhancements for both airlines and passengers that introduces new lighting and a curving architecture to create a distinctive entry way. Passengers enjoy a more open cabin feel and newly improved and expanded pivot bins. In addition, all of Alaska’s seats feature outlets providing dual 110-volt and USB power.

Alaska flies 131 Boeing 737 aircraft, including 14 737-900 ERs. The carrier has 68 firm orders for 737-900 ERs and 737 MAX aircraft to be delivered through 2022. Alaska took delivery of its first 737-900 ER in October 2012 and began adding Next-Generation 737s to their fleet in July 1999 with the first delivery of a 737-700.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N408AS (msn 41732) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Will Delta Air Lines make a bid to take over and merge Alaska Airlines?

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) have been adding competitive routes at their rival’s hubs in Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City. Something is going with these partners as each carrier is doing a tit for tat with new routes.

The bigger question now being raised is will Delta make a hostile bid to acquire and merge Alaska? Assuming it would be approved, it would allow Delta to leap again back to being the largest carrier in thew world again.

Alaska is a profitable airline and has always preferred to stay independent.

Will a bidding war develop for Alaska? If not, will Delta continue adding routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma?

Can Alaska remain independent?

Bloomberg explores these possibilities.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta’s Airbus A320-212 N365NW (msn 964) taxies to the runway at SeaTac.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska’s Boeing 737-890 N590AS (msn 35687) also taxies at the SeaTac hub.

Alaska Airlines responds, more routes from Salt Lake City

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is adding more flights at Delta’s Salt Lake City hub while Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has been adding more routes from Alaska’s Seattle/Tacoma hub. Is the Alaska-Delta partnership dissolving or is each carrier feeding the other at their hubs with additional flights?

Alaska Airlines is adding daily flights to three more cities from Salt Lake City next summer, marking the latest in a series of route expansions. The carrier will begin flying nonstop from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho, and Las Vegas on June 16 and between Salt Lake City and San Francisco on June 18.

The airline will fly one daily roundtrip each between Salt Lake City and Boise and San Francisco, and two daily roundtrips between Salt Lake and Las Vegas. Flights from Salt Lake City to San Francisco allow travelers same-day connections to the airline’s nonstop service to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Summary of new service:

Boise-Salt Lake City
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 16 Boise-Salt Lake City 7:10 a.m. 8:22 a.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Salt Lake City-Boise 5:55 p.m. 7:12 p.m. Daily Q400

Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 16

Salt Lake City-Las Vegas

9:45 a.m. 10:15 a.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Las Vegas-Salt Lake City 10:50 a.m. 1:18 p.m. Daily Q400
June 16 Salt Lake City-Las Vegas 1:50 p.m. 2:20 p.m. Daily Q400
June 16

Las Vegas-Salt Lake City

2:55 p.m. 5:23 p.m. Daily Q400

 

San Francisco-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair

Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 18

San Francisco-Salt Lake City

8:35 p.m. 11:20 p.m. Daily 737
June 19

Salt Lake City-San Francisco

8 a.m. 8:50 a.m. Daily 737

All times based on local time zones.

The routes will be operated with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737s and Horizon Air Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft.

Alaska Airlines continues to expand in the Lower 48. However the name “Alaska” no longer properly describes its expanding operating area. Most of its flying is along the West Coast and from/to the Seattle/Tacoma hub in Washington State. The Eskimo tail logo no longer properly defines the operating area of the airline. The company has outgrown its original name when it was a niche airline flying from Portland and Seattle/Tacoma up to Alaska. A new more appropriate name and livery is probably in the works for 2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490AS (msn 27082) departs from Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alaska Airlines adds new power outlets at each seat

ALASKA AIRLINES ELECTRONICS

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) starting today will offer its passengers  new aircraft seats that feature a personal space-enhancing design and are equipped with power outlets. The improvements are part of a $100 million investment the carrier has made to upgrade the cabins in all 737-800, -900 and -900ER aircraft. The carrier expects to finish the upgrades by the end of 2014.

Alaska Airlines is the only U.S. carrier to provide both 110-volt and USB power for tablets and smart phones at every seat on its equipped aircraft, which will include nearly three-quarters of its fleet. Access to the outlets is conveniently located in the seatback in front of each passenger and power is available at no additional charge.

“We’ve heard the request for seat power loud and clear and we’re pleased to deliver ‘juice’ to our customers,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Providing easy to reach 110-volt power for laptops and USB power for smart phones and tablets is just another way Alaska Airlines is making travel easier.”

Alaska Airlines is the North America launch customer for the space-saving seat, designed by innovative seat maker Recaro. The seat’s slimmer design and location of the literature pocket at the top of the seatback maintain the same passenger comfort standards and personal space that are on Alaska’s aircraft today. The upgraded aircraft will provide passengers with the current fleet standard seat pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.

Facts about Alaska Airlines’ “powered” plane:

  • Power outlets are conveniently located on the back of every seat, where they are easy to find. Of those airlines that have power outlets, they are normally under the seats and difficult to find.
  • Each row of seats can supply enough power to run and charge three devices at the same time.
  • Gate displays and seatback cards will let customers know if their plane has the new upgrades.
  • The new configuration, when combined with the slimmer Recaro seats, maintains the standard pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.
  • The first retrofitted plane, tail number 548, will fly throughout most of Alaska Airlines’ route network. Alaska expects to have half of its fleet upgraded by summer 2014.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: A cockpit view of the approach into challenging Juneau, Alaska (4x the real speed):

Alaska Airlines welcomes Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to the team

ALASKA AIRLINES RUSSELL WILSON

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has a new quarterback onboard — Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson. Seattle’s hometown airline and Wilson are teaming up in a partnership to engage with our customers and support youths in the community.

As part of the exclusive multi-year partnership, Wilson will appear at events, take part in marketing activities for Alaska Airlines, and work with the carrier to support youth and education programs. Among them is the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, which provides inner-city and underprivileged youths an opportunity to attend football camp for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Another activity is Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Wilson regularly visits young fans receiving care. In honor of Wilson’s commitment to connecting with these children in such a meaningful way, Alaska Airlines will donate 100,000 miles to Children’s Hospital for each touchdown pass Wilson throws or touchdown he scores through the rest of this season.

Wilson and Alaska Airlines enjoy a relationship that began last spring after his rookie year in the National Football League, when he surprised customers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by welcoming them at the carrier’s lobby check-in and gate areas. Wilson and Alaska then teamed up to inspire youths to finish school and accomplish their goals. An event on a sunny day in July — dubbed “Pledge It. Prove It. Take Flight.” — attracted more than 600 students from 21 high schools in Western Washington, who heard from Wilson and employees of Alaska Airlines and its regional carrier, Horizon Air, about careers in aviation.

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

 

Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants reach a tentative agreement

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Association of Flight Attendants announced they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.

Once the tentative agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in mid-February 2014.

The current contract became amendable on May 1, 2012. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) in the special “Employee powered” livery arrives in Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air to add two Bombardier Q400 Alaska University logo planes for Alaska flying

ALASKA AIRLINES UNIVERSITY-THEMED Q400 AIRCRAFT

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma) have issued this announcement:

Mascots and school colors from two of Alaska’s most beloved and heated collegiate rivals, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will soon be featured on two of Alaska Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft. The colorful paint themes will be unveiled tonight (December 6) to a crowd of fans at the Sullivan Arena where the Alaska Nanooks and UAA Seawolf hockey teams will battle in the first of a four-game series to claim the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup.

“We’re thrilled to show Alaska Airlines’ strong support of education while growing our fleet of university paint themes with our first two schools in Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president – Alaska. “The UAA and UAF school colors will proudly fly between our two largest cities and from Anchorage to Kodiak.”

Like other university-themed aircraft operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Nanook and Seawolf planes will be painted at no cost to the university and will fly primarily between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak when the carrier introduces the 76-seat DHC-8-402 (Q400) to the state of Alaska on March 3, 2014. The UAF and UAA planes will be painted and unveiled in February next year.

ALASKA AIRLINES UNIVERSITY-THEMED Q400 AIRCRAFT

The UAF and UAA planes will be the 10th and 11th university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes represent the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, as well as Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Washington State. Alaska Airlines recently unveiled the “Spirit of Education”  (see below). The specially-themed Boeing 737-900 ER was dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School located in Tukwila, Washington.

Above Images: The University of Alaska Anchorage (top-green tail) and University of Alaska Fairbanks (second from top-blue tail) colors will be featured on two university-themed Q400 aircraft. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) with the special “Supporting Education Helping Dreams Soar” markings for the Raisbeck Aviation High School departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

Alaska Airlines adds new routes from Salt Lake City

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is what could be considered a strategic response move, will begin daily nonstop service between Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, California, starting on June 9, and will add a third nonstop flight to its existing service between Salt Lake City and Seattle/Tacoma.

Salt Lake City is the home of a large hub of partner Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). Delta Air Lines has recently been adding new routes at Alaska’s Seattle/Tacoma hub.

Alaska Airlines first began service between Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City on April 4, 2013.

Summary of new service:

Los Angeles-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft

June 11

Los Angeles-Salt Lake City 5:35 p.m. 8:20 p.m. Daily 737

June 12

Salt Lake City-Los Angeles

7:00 a.m. 7:55 a.m. Daily 737

Portland-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 9 Portland-Salt Lake City 3:10 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Daily 737
June 10 Portland-Salt Lake City 9:50 a.m. 12:45 p.m. Daily CR7
June 9 Salt Lake City-Portland 6:50 p.m. 7:45 p.m. Daily 737
June 10 Salt Lake City-Portland 8:05 a.m. 9:05 a.m. Daily CR7

San Diego-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
June 10

San Diego-Salt Lake City

7:00 a.m. 9:55 a.m. Daily CR7
June 10 San Diego Salt Lake City 7:55 p.m. 10:45 p.m. Daily 737
June 10 Salt Lake City-San Diego 1:20 p.m. 2:20 p.m. Daily CR7
June 11 Salt Lake City-San Diego 8:30 a.m. 9:25 a.m. Daily 737

San Jose-Salt Lake City

Start date

City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft

June 12

San Jose-Salt Lake City 8:55 p.m. 11:40 p.m. Daily 737

June 13

Salt Lake City-San Jose 7:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. Daily 737
Seattle-Salt Lake City
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
Existing flight Seattle-Salt Lake City 7:00 a.m. 9:59 a.m. Daily 737
Existing  flight Seattle-Salt Lake City 1:10 p.m. 4:10 p.m. Daily 737
June 9 Seattle-Salt Lake City 8:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m. Daily CR7
June 10 Salt Lake City-Seattle 10:30 a.m. 11:40 a.m. Daily CR7
Existing flight Salt Lake City-Seattle 11:00 a.m. 12:07 p.m. Daily 737
Existing  flight Salt Lake City–Seattle 5:10 p.m. 6:17 p.m. Daily 737

All times based on local time zones.

The routes will be operated with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft and SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) (St. George, Utah) 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-990 WL N318AS (msn 30018) in the Spirit of Disneyland II special scheme taxies at the SeaTac hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska SkyWest: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to allow its passengers to use PEDs starting today

Alaska Passengers using PEDs (Alaska)(LRW)

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) passengers on flights today (November 9) can begin enjoying the use of their tablets, book readers, games and other personal electronic devices from gate to gate.

Passengers on Alaska Airlines flights operated by Horizon Air are expected to be able to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flight next week and on flights operated by SkyWest Airlines soon after, pending FAA approval.

Under FAA rules, passengers need to place their electronic devices in airplane mode. Cell phones may not be used for calls and all devices must be turned off in rare cases when instructed by crew members. Laptops and other larger devices must be stowed during takeoff and landing so they do not pose a safety hazard. Customers will be able to connect to Wi-Fi once the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines will start flying its first aircraft with 110-volt and USB power outlets at every seat next month. Most of the fleet will be equipped with power outlets by the end of 2014.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines introduces its fifth Disneyland logojet today

Alaska 737-800 WL N570AS (13-Disneyland 5th-Cars)(Grd) SEA (BDF)(LRW)

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today introduced its fifth Disney logojet in rainy Seattle. Boeing 737-890 N570AS (msn 35185) has been painted in this special “Follow us to Disneyland Resort” color scheme. Oddly instead of promoting the recent “Disney Planes” movie the characters are from “Disney Cars”.

Alaska Airlines later in the day issued this statement:

The newest themed airplane in Alaska Airlines’ fleet flew into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today (November 7), featuring one of America’s most beloved and rusty tow trucks.

Alaska Disneyland Pilots in Cockpit (Alaska)(LRW)

Adorned with the familiar images of Disney-Pixar’s animated Cars characters Mater, Lightning McQueen, Guido and Luigi, the colorful Boeing 737-800 named “Adventure of Disneyland Resort” celebrates Alaska’s partnership with Walt Disney’s original theme park.

It is the fifth Disney-themed airplane born out of the successful partnership between Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resort.

“Our Disney planes generate a lot of excitement among our passengers young and old wherever they fly,” said Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of customer service-airports and cargo, and board member of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our strong partnership than to launch this flying invitation to visit Disneyland Resort’s newest attraction and Mater’s home in Cars Land.”

At a special airport event, Mater himself made a satellite appearance from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, providing travelers with updates on the arrival of the plane as it neared Seattle. After the ceremony, the aircraft officially joined the Alaska fleet on a flight to Orange County, Calif., and will then fly throughout the carrier’s 65-city network.

“Adventure of Disneyland Resort is a great example of taking beloved, iconic Disney-Pixar characters and bringing them to life in new and unexpected ways,” said Sharon Siskie, Disney Destinations’ vice president of travel industry sales. “It’s been our great privilege to be part of this collaborative effort with Alaska Airlines, and we’re delighted that today’s inaugural flight will create some very powerful memories for special guests from Make-A-Wish.”

Joining passengers flying on Flight 500 were four Make-A-Wish children from Washington and Alaska, ages 3 to 7, and their families, who will spend the next several days at the Disneyland Resort. During their visit, they will be treated to special activities and enjoy overnight accommodations at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at the Resort.

“Since our inception, we’ve granted life-affirming wishes to more than 5,300 children in Alaska and Washington and it’s only because of the partnerships that we have with companies like Alaska Airlines and Disney,” said Barry McConnell, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington.

Since granting its first wish in 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington has granted 2,257 Disney wishes and sent 1,051 children and their families on wish trips via Alaska Airlines. Disney helps Make-A-Wish America® grant more than 5,000 wishes annually, making a trip to a Disney Park the most frequent wish requested by Make-A-Wish children.

Alaska Airlines has supported Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington since 1986 and provides air transportation for about 225 Wish kids and their families to travel each year. Alaska invites members of its Mileage Plan to donate frequent-flier miles to Make-A-Wish through the Charity Miles program.

The Adventure of Disneyland Resort aircraft received its new livery at Aviation Technical Services in Everett, Washington. A team of specialists from Associated Painters Inc. accomplished the complicated painting process, including a sponge-type application to re-create Mater’s rust-colored finish.

Adventure of Disneyland Resort trivia:

  • A 34-member crew worked around the clock for 29 days at Associated Painters Inc. to paint the plane.
  • Painters painstakingly airbrushed the aircraft with 70 unique colors and applied more than 10,000 square feet of vinyl graphics to create the lifelike characters, including the headlights, tire rims and eyes.
  • More than 72,000 linear feet of masking tape was used during the painting of the Adventure of Disneyland Resort.
  • Mater’s rustic-looking muffler, which is located on the tail of the jet, will naturally change color over time due to the plane’s normal exhaust stains.
  • The 129-foot-long Boeing 737-800 has a wingspan of 117 feet and a cruising speed of 530 mph.
  • The plane accommodates 157 passengers and six crew members.

Top Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com. The weather did not cooperate at SEA today for the unveiling as a storm system moved through the area. Cockpit Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Video of the painting Process:

Alaska Airlines Slide Show (see all of the logojets): AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines gets ready to expand its ski flights network

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is starting new nonstop flights between Portland, Oregon and Reno/Tahoe, California on November 8, between Seattle/Tacoma and Steamboat Springs, Colorado on December 18, and between San Diego and Mammoth, California, on December 19. This is addition to the airline’s increase in flights between Los Angeles and Mammoth, starting on December 1, and seasonal service from Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles to Sun Valley, Idaho, starting on December 14.

Several of the flights will be operated by Alaska Airlines’ regional partners Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma), using 76-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s), and SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) (St. George, Utah), using 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N417QX (msn 4086) taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines launches new routes today

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) begins daily service between Boise, Idaho, and San Diego today, as the carrier celebrates 30 years of service to Boise Airport.

Summary of new service:

Start date City pair

Departs

Arrives Frequency
Nov. 1 Boise-San Diego

10:30 a.m.

11:40 a.m. Daily
Nov. 1 San Diego-Boise

5:35 p.m.

8:45 p.m. Daily

All times based on local time zones.

The flights will be operated by Alaska Airlines regional partners SkyWest Airlines (St. George) and Horizon Air (Seattle/Tacoma).

In other news, Alaska Airlines is also inaugurating daily service between Seattle/Tacoma and Colorado Springs, Colorado, starting today, and between Seattle/Tacoma and Omaha, Nebraska, starting on November 7.

Summary of new service:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 1 Seattle-Colorado Springs 6:20 p.m. 9:55 p.m. Daily
Nov. 2 Colorado Springs-Seattle 8:00 a.m. 9:55 a.m. Daily
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 7 Seattle-Omaha 10:40 a.m. 3:45 p.m. Daily
Nov. 7 Omaha-Seattle 4:15 p.m. 5:45 p.m. Daily

Times based on local time zones.

Flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines using 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

Finally, Alaska Airlines is growing again in Portland, Oregon, with new nonstop flights between the Rose City and Tucson, Arizona, today, and between Portland and Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, starting on November 8.

Summary of new service:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 1 Portland-Tucson 9:15 a.m. 12:05**/1:05 p.m. Daily
Nov. 1 Tucson-Portland 12:35**/1:45 p.m. 3:30**/3:40 p.m. Daily

** Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 flight time differs due to daylight saving time adjustment.

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 8 Portland-Reno 11:10 a.m. 12:45 p.m. Daily
Nov. 8 Reno-Portland 1:15 p.m. 2:50 p.m. Daily

All times based on local times zones.

Alaska Airlines’ Portland-Tucson flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines using 70-seat CRJ700 regional jets (above). Portland-Reno/Tahoe flights will be flown for Alaska by Horizon Air using 76-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s).

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska SkyWest’s (SkyWest Airlines) Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N217AG (msn 10031) climbs away from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska SkyWest: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders 111 firm Split Scimitar Winglet Systems for its new Boeing 737s

Alaska 737-800 SSWL (SS Winglets)(Close-Up)(Alaska)(LRW)

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) today announced the order of 111 firm Split Scimitar Winglet Systems for Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft by Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma). APB’s newest program is the culmination of a five year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake.

“We expect Split Scimitar Winglets to be certified and enter revenue service by the end of this year; having Alaska Airlines, our hometown partner, be one of the very first airlines worldwide to feature Split Scimitar Winglets is extremely gratifying and a testament to our long term partnership,” said Patrick LaMoria, Aviation Partners Boeing chief commercial officer.

Alaska Airlines has been a model of success in the airline industry and is known for embracing innovative technology to improve its customers’ experience. Alaska expects the incremental fuel savings from APB’s latest drag reducing technology will add another 58,000 gallons of annual fuel savings per aircraft per year. Once all their Next-Generation 737-800s, 737-900s, and 737-900 ERs are fitted with Split Scimitar Winglets, Alaska estimates that it will save another $20 million in annual fuel costs. These fuel savings will also translate into an environmental benefit by reducing Alaska Airlines CO2 output by more than 68,000 tons per year.

Aviation Partners Boeing’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history. Since launching the program early this year, APB has now taken orders and options for over 766 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold over 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems. Nearly 5,000 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide nearly 4 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.

Production Schedule:

APB 737 Split Scimitar Schedules

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.

Image: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: A Split Scimitar Winglet is being tested on an United Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Moses Lakes, WA. The 737-800 has been flying since July 2013 with this new enhancement.

Alaska Air Group reports 3Q net income of $289 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc., (Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air) (Seattle/Tacoma) reported third quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $289 million, or $4.08 per diluted share, compared to $163 million, or $2.27 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2012. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $20 million ($12 million after tax, or $0.17  per diluted share), and a one-time special revenue item of $192 million ($120 million after tax, or $1.70 per diluted share) that primarily resulted from the application of new accounting rules associated with the modified affinity card agreement, the company reported record adjusted net income of $157 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $150 million, or $2.09 per diluted share, in 2012.

“These results represent our best quarter ever and mark Alaska’s 18th consecutive quarterly profit,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. “This is noteworthy given significant additional competition in some of our core markets. The balance and strength of our network combined with the ability of our people to respond quickly to changing business conditions are enabling us to succeed in this highly competitive industry.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (EPS) during the third quarters of 2013 and 2012 to adjusted amounts:

Three Months Ended September 30,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per-share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 289 $ 4.08 $ 163 $ 2.27
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax (12) (0.17) (13) (0.18)
Special revenue item, net of tax (120) (1.70)
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per-share amounts $ 157 $ 2.21 $ 150 $ 2.09

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $157 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $150 million, or $2.09 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. This quarter’s results compare to a First Call analyst consensus estimate of $2.14 per share.
  • Recorded net income for the third quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $289 million or $4.08 per diluted share, compared to net income of $163 million, or $2.27 per diluted share in 2012.
  • Achieved trailing 12-month return on invested capital of 13.0 percent compared to 12.7 percent in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2012.
  • Lowered adjusted debt-to-total-capitalization ratio by 7.0 percentage points, to 47.0 percent, from Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Paid a $0.20 per-share quarterly cash dividend on August 22 totaling $14 million. This is the first time since 1992 that Alaska Air Group has paid a dividend.
  • Repurchased 537,008 shares of common stock for $32 million in the third quarter. For the year, the company has repurchased 1,454,790 shares for $83 million.
  • Modified the affinity card agreement with Bank of America and extended it through 2017, estimated to generate $55 million in additional cash flows on an annual basis.
  • Held $1.4 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of Sept. 30, 2013.

Operational Highlights:

  • Held the No. 1 spot in U.S. Department of Transportation on-time performance among the 10 largest U.S. airlines for the 12 months ended August 2013.
  • Named most fuel-efficient airline in the U.S. in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation.
  • Named Airline Industry Leader in the 2013 Temkin Customer Service Rankings.
  • Surpassed 1 million customer downloads of the Alaska Airlines mobile apps.
  • Began new routes between Portland and Atlanta and between Portland and Dallas.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-890 WL N560AS (msn 35179) in the “Spirit of the Islands” motif departs from Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon-Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines dedicates a “Spirit of Education” Boeing 737-900 ER to the nation’s first college preparatory, aviation-themed high school

Aviation_HS1-1

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has issued this press release:

Local business and government leaders joined students, educators and alumni from Raisbeck Aviation High School onboard a specially themed Alaska Airlines jet on October 17 for the grand opening of the new facility for the nation’s first public, college preparatory, aviation-themed high school. The “Spirit of Education,” the Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730), is dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School and will fly for six months around the carrier’s route network.

Among the passengers onboard Flight AS 9401 was senior Austin Spores of Redmond, Washington, who commutes two hours to school every day. Spores, who is getting his private pilot’s license, plans to pursue a career as a commercial pilot.

Like all students who choose to attend RAHS instead of a traditional secondary school, Spores had a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Last summer, he interned as a dispatcher for Seattle-based Kenmore Air and hopes to study aeronautics at the University of North Dakota or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University after graduating next June.

“I’ve been surrounded by aviation my entire life, so being in an aviation-themed environment like Raisbeck Aviation High School is a dream come true,” Spores said.

Alaska Airlines employees have mentored and volunteered with students interested in commercial aviation since the school’s inception in 2004. As a founding sponsor, the airline pledged $1.5 million in a public/private partnership to build the $44.5 million state-of-the-art school designed to educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and other aviation and aerospace-focused professionals.

“Investing in Raisbeck Aviation High School is an investment in the youth of our community,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ president and CEO. “Students attending this STEM school are poised to bring much-needed innovation to our industry, which could further improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of commercial aviation.” Raisbeck Aviation High School, part of Highline Public Schools, is located on the grounds of the Museum of Flight near Boeing Field to encourage partnerships with aviation and aerospace leaders and ensure relevance in the instructional program.

“Having this school on the grounds of the Museum of Flight, so close to more than 200 aviation industry businesses like Boeing and Alaska Airlines, gives our students something truly special — an unparalleled chance to be simultaneously immersed in learning and industry,” said Reba Gilman, Raisbeck Aviation High School CEO and principal.

Highlights of Raisbeck Aviation High School:

  • 400 students from 27 school districts travel by car, train, boat/ferry or bus to attend the public school, located in Tukwila, Wash.
  • Students of RAHS consistently rank in the top 5 percent in Washington state assessments. The school’s performance ranks 252nd out of 22,000 nationwide high schools according to US News & World Report. About three-quarters of RAHS students intend to pursue STEM-related education at universities including Stanford, Harvard, Cornell and MIT.
  • The school is designed for project-based instructional programs, with labs that enable students to build robots, rockets, model airplanes and even a real airplane.
  • Rather than a traditional library, the school provides classroom libraries and access to the Museum of Flight’s extensive archives and library. A computer is provided to each student.
  • During the summer, the school will be used by the museum for science camps — assuring year-round utilization of the building as well as introducing younger children to Raisbeck Aviation High School.
  • All RAHS students are connected with a mentor in an aviation/aerospace-related field. Students are also placed in internships in high-demand STEM workplaces such as Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port of Seattle.

Supporting education in its home state is a top priority for Alaska Airlines. Since 2007, the carrier has contributed more than $6.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions to 303 Washington educational institutions and organizations. Recent gifts include $150,000 to Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies, $75,000 to the Highline Community College Foundation for student scholarships, $700,000 to the Independent Colleges of Washington and $1.5 million to the University of Washington.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air to use Q400 warm air bridges at Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska Horizon DHC-8-400 Warm Airbridge (Alaska)(LRW)

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has issued this statement for its Alaska Horizon (Horizon Air) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) cold weather operations in Fairbanks, Alaska:

Fairbanks residents flying on Alaska Airlines’ Bombardier Q400s starting next March will board and deplane the aircraft using the existing jet bridge at Fairbanks International Airport. The carrier will modify the jet bridge at Gate 1 to provide passengers with warm, easy access to their flights on the turboprop aircraft.

“We listened to customer concerns about boarding the plane outside during the winter and took our time to carefully evaluate all of our options,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president – Alaska. “With slight modifications to the existing jet bridge, our customers traveling between Fairbanks and Anchorage will have a way to board and deplane that protects them from the cold winter weather and is also safe and accessible for travelers with limited mobility.”

Alaska Airlines is exploring a warm boarding solution for customers boarding and deplaning the Q400 at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, Romano said.

Starting next March, Alaska will increase service between Anchorage and Fairbanks from seven to nine daily flights; eight flights will be operated with the Q400 and one with a Boeing 737. Additionally, the Q400 will replace an Alaska 737 on one of two daily round-trip flights between Anchorage and Kodiak. Initial service to Kodiak will begin March 3 and end April 30, then resume again for seasonal service between October and April.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to thank its employees with a special “Employee powered” logojet

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today is expected to formally unveil this new “Employee powered” Boeing 737-800 logojet as a way of thanking its employees. Here is a sneak preview.

The dashes between the two stripes are signatures of employees that attended the FlightPath meetings of Alaska Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly painted in the “Follow Apolo to Hawaii” special scheme, the pictured Boeing 737-890 N568AS (msn 35183) at Paine Field in Everett, WA now wears this special color scheme dedicated to its employees. It is not a new livery for Alaska but the company has been rumored to be testing new designs to replace its current 1990 livery.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines orders five additional Boeing 737-900 ERs

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Boeing (Chicago) announced today the carrier is exercising options to purchase five additional Boeing 737-900 ER (extended range) aircraft. The five new aircraft are worth $481 million at Boeing’s current list price. Two of the aircraft will arrive in 2015 followed by two more in 2016 and one in 2017.

Today’s order supplements the 31 aircraft on firm order for delivery by the end of 2017. Alaska Airlines expects to have 134 Boeing 737s in its fleet by the end of 2014.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Delivered new to the carrier on December 18, 2012, Boeing 737-990 ER N408AS (msn 41732) taxies to the gate at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library?

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines continues its Portland, Oregon expansion with a new route to DFW

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) inaugurated nonstop service between Portland, Oregon, and Dallas/Fort Worth starting today.

Portland-Dallas/Fort Worth is the eighth new route Alaska has added from PDX and it will help connect with its partner American Airlines’ hub in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Summary of new service:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Sept. 16 Portland-Dallas 10:15 a.m. 4:04 p.m. Daily
Sept. 16 Dallas-Portland 5 p.m. 6:59 p.m. Daily

All times based on local time zones.

Alaska Airlines has inaugurated service from Portland to seven other destinations since June 2012, including Atlanta, Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Fairbanks, Alaska, Bozeman, Montana, Pasco, Washington, and Santa Barbara, California.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines is gradually replacing its aging Boeing 737-400 fleet. 737-490 N794AS (msn 28889) climbs away from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines is ranked number one U.S. airline in fuel efficiency

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is ranked Number 1 in fuel efficiency in a report released by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. The ICCT study is the first to quantify fuel performance for U.S. airlines.

Alaska, along with its regional partner Horizon Air, led all 15 mainline U.S. carriers as the most fuel-efficient airline operating in the United States in 2010, outperforming the least fuel-efficient carrier by 26 percent.

“We have made significant investments in our fleet, technology and processes to improve our fuel performance, which is a key part of Alaska’s commitment to be the airline industry leader in environmental stewardship. These sustainability efforts also help us keep our costs down in order to provide better value for our customers,” said Keith Loveless, Alaska Air Group’s executive vice president and general counsel. “We’re proud and gratified to see our efforts validated by such an independent and respected source as the International Council on Clean Transportation.”

The ICCT study looked at fuel-consumption data reported annually by airlines to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The study employed methodology developed by a team of researchers at the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR) at the University of California, Berkeley, to evaluate fuel efficiency based on passenger miles between origin and destination as well as airports served and/or flight frequency. Researchers looked at fuel burned and identified inefficiencies, such as the use of older technology, circuitous routing and taxiing with two engines instead of one.

By improving its fuel efficiency in recent years, Alaska Airlines reduced its carbon emissions by 30 percent (measured by flying one passenger one mile). This reduction was accomplished through a variety of measures—most notably by migrating to exclusively flying the Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400, the most fuel-efficient aircraft in their classes.

Alaska Airlines has also made other improvements in its sustainability efforts:

  • Sustainable service ware is used for inflight meals and beverages. Additionally, Horizon Air flight attendants recycle 91 percent of all paper, plastic, aluminum and glass generated onboard while Alaska cabin crews divert 80 percent of recyclable materials.
  • First-of-their-kind solar-powered boarding ramps are being used in Seattle and San Jose, Calif. This project enables passengers to enter and exit an aircraft faster by using the front and rear doors simultaneously.
  • Worked with the FAA and Port of Seattle to implement new arrival routes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport using satellite-based navigation rather than ground-based radar. The shorter routes, which became operational last spring, save fuel, lower carbon emissions and noise, and reduce pilot-controller workloads.
  • Installed the first airport wind-turbine solar panel in Nome, Alaska.
  • In August 2013, Alaska became the first airline to sign an agreement with Hawaii BioEnergy LLC to purchase sustainable biofuel for its Hawaii flights.
  • Operated 75 passenger flights powered by a 20 percent biofuel blend in November 2011. These flights demonstrated the viability and need for an adequate, affordable and sustainable supply of alternative aviation fuel. The biofuel project grew out of Alaska Air Group’s involvement in Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, the first U.S. regional group of its kind to study alternative aviation fuels.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) climbs away from Boeing Field in Seattle. All-Boeing Alaska enjoys one of the shortest delivery flights in the world from Boeing Field (King County) (BFI) in Seattle to nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines launches nonstop flights between Portland, Oregon and Atlanta

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) today (August 26) inaugurated nonstop service between Portland, Oregon and Atlanta.

Alaska Airlines has added eight new routes from Portland within the last 12 months which also includes new service to Dallas-Fort Worth starting on September 16.

Summary of new service:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Aug. 26 Portland-Atlanta  9:50 a.m. 5:35 p.m. Daily
Aug. 26 Atlanta-Portland 5:10 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Daily
Flight times based on local time zones.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 N518AS (msn 35693) completes the “River Approach” into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Group achieves second quarter net income of $104 million

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Airlines and Horizon AirAlaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) today reported second quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $104 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to $68 million, or $0.93 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2012. Excluding the impact of mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments of $1 million, the company reported adjusted net income of $105 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $111 million, or $1.53 per diluted share, in 2012.

“These results represent our 17th consecutive quarter of profitability and the second-best June quarter in our history. I want to thank our employees at Alaska and Horizon who are continuing to work hard to keep us safe and reliable, provide a great experience for our customers, and produce results that make Alaska a great place to invest,” CEO Brad Tilden said. “Although our quarterly results were down slightly, our financial performance continues to be very strong. This is why we were very pleased to recently announce the initiation of a quarterly dividend which, combined with our share repurchases, will be a key component of our capital deployment program.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (EPS) during the second quarters of 2013 and 2012 to adjusted amounts:

Three Months Ended June 30,
2013 2012
(in millions, except per-share amounts) Dollars Diluted EPS Dollars Diluted EPS
Reported GAAP net income $ 104 $ 1.47 $ 68 $ 0.93
Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, net of tax 1 43 0.60
Non-GAAP adjusted income and per-share amounts $ 105 $ 1.47 $ 111 $ 1.53

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Banking on its final approach, Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-890 N514AS (msn 35193) prepares to straighten up for landing at Washington (Reagan National).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s (Alaska Horizon) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N436QX (msn 4236) exits the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines and Hawai`i BioEnergy sign agreement to purchase sustainable fuel

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and Hawai`i BioEnergy LLC announced today they have signed an agreement for the carrier to purchase sustainable biofuel for its aircraft. Founded in 2006, Hawai`i BioEnergy is a consortium of three of Hawaii’s largest landowners and three venture capital companies who plan to use locally grown feedstocks to produce biofuels.

Alaska Airlines is Hawai`i BioEnergy’s second customer, and the first airline to sign a contract. Hawaiian Electric Co. previously announced it had agreed to purchase 10 million gallons of fuel a year from Hawai`i BioEnergy for power generation to the state, pending approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Hawai`i BioEnergy will ramp up production of the sustainable fuels within five years of regulatory approval, allowing Alaska Airlines to begin procuring sustainable jet fuel for its Hawaii flights possibly as soon as fall 2018.

The feedstock for the biofuel is anticipated to be woody biomass-based and will be consistent with the sustainability criteria established by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels, an international multi-stakeholder initiative concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomass production and processing.

Alaska Airlines has reduced its carbon footprint intensity by 30 percent (measured by revenue passenger miles) since 2004. In 2011, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air were the first domestic airlines to fly multiple passenger flights powered by a biofuel blend.

Copyright Photo:  Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-790 WL N611AS (msn 29753) completes its final approach to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines to operate to Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colorado this winter

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will begin new seasonal service between Seattle/Tacoma and Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colorado, this winter. The twice-weekly flights will operate from December 18, 2013, through March 29, 2014.

Summary of new service:
Service Dates City Pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Dec. 18-March 29 Seattle-Steamboat 1:35 p.m. 4:50 p.m. Wed, Sat
Dec. 18-March 29 Steamboat-Seattle 5:25 p.m. 6:50 p.m. Wed, Sat
All times based on local time zones.

SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) will operate the new flights for Alaska Airlines using a 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N215AG (msn 10009) taxies at Long Beach, California.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska SkyWest: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines’ pilots ratify a new five-year contract

Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) pilots yesterday (July 10) approved a new five-year contract. With nearly 94 percent of 1,343 eligible pilots casting a ballot, 67 percent voted in favor of the agreement. The contract increases pay by nearly 20 percent over the life of the agreement and contains job security and work rule improvements. It also protects pilots’ retirement and insurance benefits.

The airline stated, “It is particularly significant that the pilots and Alaska management reached agreement on a new contract a little more than a month beyond the last agreement’s April 1, 2013, amendable date. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire, they only become amendable, and it is common for negotiations to last for years beyond the amendable date. The parties’ full negotiating teams began meeting in summer 2012.”

Alaska’s pilots and management now will begin the process of implementing the new agreement and preparing to discuss changes needed to accommodate new flight-time/duty-time rules that are scheduled to go into effect on January 4, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 WL N532AS (msn 36347) completes the final approach from the south into Washington (Reagan National).

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air and SkyWest to open up four new routes from Seattle/Tacoma and Portland for Alaska Airlines and two routes from San Diego

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will inaugurate daily service between Seattle/Tacoma and Colorado Springs, Colorado, starting on November 1, and between Seattle/Tacoma and Omaha, Nebraska, starting on November 7. The carrier will also add nonstop flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona, starting on November 1, and between Portland and Reno, Nevada, starting on November 8, 2013.

Summary of new service:
Seattle-Colorado Springs
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 1 Seattle-Colorado Springs 6:20 p.m. 9:55 p.m. Daily
Nov. 2 Colorado Springs-Seattle 8 a.m. 9:55 a.m. Daily
Seattle-Omaha
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 7 Seattle-Omaha 10:40 a.m. 3:45 p.m. Daily
Nov. 7 Omaha-Seattle 4:15 p.m. 5:45 p.m. Daily
Portland-Reno
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 8 Portland-Reno 11:10 a.m. 12:45 p.m. Daily
Nov. 8 Reno-Portland 1:15 p.m. 2:50 p.m. Daily
Portland-Tucson
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov. 1 Portland-Tucson 9:15 a.m. 1:05 p.m. Daily
Nov. 1 Tucson-Portland 1:35 p.m. 3:30 p.m. Daily
All times based on local time zones.

The new Portland-Reno flights will be flown for Alaska Airlines by Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma) using 76-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s). The remaining flights will be operated by SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) (St. George) using 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

Alaska Airlines last operated between Portland and Reno in 2009 and also served Portland-Tucson in 2003.

In addition, Alaska Airlines will begin new daily service between San Diego and Boise, Idaho, starting on November 1, and daily seasonal service between San Diego and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California, starting on December 19, 2013.

Summary of new service:
San Diego-Boise
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Nov.1 Boise-San Diego 10:20 a.m. 11:25 a.m. Daily
Nov.1 San Diego-Boise 5:35 p.m. 8:40 p.m. Daily
San Diego-Mammoth Lakes
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Dec. 19-April 13 San Diego-Mammoth 5:30 p.m. 7 p.m. Mon, Tue, Wed,
Thu, Fri, Sun
Dec. 19-April 13 Mammoth-San Diego 7:30 p.m. 9 p.m. Mon, Tue, Wed,
Thu, Fri, Sun
Dec. 21-April 12 San Diego-Mammoth 9:30 a.m. 11 a.m. Saturdays only
Dec. 21-April 12 Mammoth-San Diego 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. Saturdays only
All times based on local time zones.

The new 90-minute flight to Mammoth Lakes is estimated to save residents more than 6 hours of driving. Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) will operate the Mammoth Lakes flights for Alaska Airlines using 76-seat Bombardier DHC-8-402s (Q400s). SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) will operate the new San Diego-Boise flights for Alaska using 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.

With these flights, Alaska Airlines will offer 25 peak-daily departures from San Diego with nonstop service to 12 domestic and two international destinations.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N441QX (msn 4348) pushes from the gate at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Alaska SkyWest: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N215AG (msn 10009) lands at Long Beach.

 

Alaska Airlines launches seasonal Fairbanks-Portland flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has inaugurated seasonal nonstop service between Fairbanks, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon.

Summary of new service:

Date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency End date
June 8 Portland-Fairbanks 8:15 p.m. 11:09 p.m. Daily Sep 2, 2013
June 9 Fairbanks-Portland 12:15 a.m. 5 a.m. Daily Sep 3, 2013
Times based on local time zones.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-790 WL N644AS (msn 30795) taxies to the gate at the Seattle/Tacoma hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines launches seasonal San Diego-Lihue, Kauai flights

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) inaugurates nonstop service today (June 7) between San Diego and Lihue, Kauai. The flight operates daily through August 26, and then will operate four days a week. Alaska also flies nonstop from San Diego to Honolulu and Maui.

Alaska Airlines now offers 171 flights a week from San Diego to a dozen cities stretching from Hawaii to Mexico to the East Coast.

Summary of new service:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
June 7 San Diego-Kauai 10 a.m. 1:10 p.m. Daily until Aug. 26,
then Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat
June 7 Kauai-San Diego 11:10 a.m. 7:30 p.m. Daily until Aug. 26,
then Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
Times based on local time zones.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-890 WL N558AS (msn 35177) climbs away from Anchorage.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines and ALPA tentatively agree on a new five-year contract

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International announced today they have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 1,480 pilots.

The proposed contract includes pay raises, and quality of life and productivity improvements. ALPA’s leadership is unanimously recommending that Alaska pilots ratify the tentative agreement, and a vote is expected to be completed in mid-July. The current contract was ratified in May 2009 and became amendable on April 1. Negotiators for ALPA and Alaska Airlines have been working on a new contract since last summer.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is another view of Alaska Airlines’ new Boeing 737-890 WL N560AS (msn 35179) in the special “Spirit of the Islands” Hawaiian color scheme.

Video: The “Spirit of the Islands” contest:

Alaska Airlines:

AG Slide Show

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Alaska Airlines to fly from Anchorage to Phoenix and Las Vegas, Horizon Air to operate in Alaska

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will begin flying nonstop between Anchorage and Phoenix, starting on December 18, and Anchorage and Las Vegas, starting on December 19, 2013.

Flights will operate on each route three times a week. Anchorage-Las Vegas service will be offered year-round while Anchorage-Phoenix flights will operate seasonally through April 19, 2014.

Summary of new service:
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Dec. 18 Anchorage-Phoenix 9:10 a.m. 4:35 p.m. Mon, Wed, Sat
Dec. 18 Phoenix-Anchorage 5:35 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Mon, Wed, Sat
Dec. 19 Anchorage-Las Vegas 10:05 a.m. 4:10 p.m. Thu, Fri, Sun
Dec. 19 Las Vegas-Anchorage 5:10 p.m. 9:45 p.m. Thu, Fri, Sun
Times based on local time zones.

Carrier introducing Bombardier Q400s to the state of Alaska

Alaska Airlines will add flying within the state of Alaska using Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft flown by Horizon Air (Alaska Horizon) (Seattle/Tacoma), starting on March 3, 2014. The Q400 will operate eight daily round-trip flights between Anchorage and Fairbanks currently flown with Boeing 737 aircraft. Additionally, the Q400 will replace an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 on one of two daily round-trip flights between Anchorage and Kodiak seasonally from October through April. Initial service will begin on March 3 and continue through April 30, 2014.

“Flying the fast and efficient Q400 enables Alaska Airlines to increase our frequency from seven to nine roundtrips a day for Anchorage-Fairbanks travelers, giving them more options for traveling between the state’s two largest cities,” Romano said. “It also gives us the flexibility to fly our larger aircraft to new destinations out of Anchorage, such as the new nonstop routes to Las Vegas and Phoenix.”

With a crew of two pilots and two flight attendants, the Q400 is configured with 76 seats in an all-coach cabin. The aircraft also is equipped with the Head-Up Guidance system and satellite-based navigation technology similar to Alaska’s Boeing 737s.

Horizon Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, will have 60 employees (30 flight attendants and 30 pilots) based in Anchorage to fly the aircraft. Alaska Airlines employees will provide ground-based customer service and maintenance support.

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-790 WL N644AS (msn 30795) taxies at San Francisco with a Wi-Fi sticker by the forward door.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Horizon: AG Slide Show

Horizon Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N401QX (msn 4031) in the WSU Cougars – Washington State University special scheme climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.

 

Alaska Airlines’ “Spirit of the Islands” logojet is painted and unveiled

Alaska Airlines (Seattle) today (June 3) officially unveiled this colorful “Spirit of the Islands” logojet. The pictured Boeing 737-890 N560AS (msn 35179) is a special salute to the state of Hawaii. The airline issued this statement:

A specially painted Alaska Airlines jet adorned with a Honolulu high school student’s winning design honoring the culture of the Aloha State touched down today in Honolulu before a crowd of students, educators and travelers. The unique paint theme, dubbed the “Spirit of the Islands,” was created by 17-year-old Aaron Nee.

Winning designer Aaron Nee sees N560AS for the first time at Honolulu.

Winning designer Aaron Nee sees N560AS for the first time at Honolulu.

Nee’s design was selected from among more than 2,700 submissions by students across the Hawaiian Islands in a statewide “Paint-the-Plane” contest sponsored by Alaska Airlines, in partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. A 10-member judging panel, comprised of Hawaii artists, educators and other local community members, carefully scored and selected the three top designs, which were then voted on by Hawaii residents in an online public vote.

As the grand prize winner, Nee received a trip for four to any of the carrier’s destinations and a $5,000 scholarship.

“This has been an incredible opportunity to share Hawaii’s beauty with people throughout the country,” said Nee. “This contest helped me to sharpen my graphic design skills and demonstrated that with hard work, attention to detail and determination, great things are possible.”

Nee’s winning design displays a voyaging canoe depicting the cultural diversity of the Islands, a bright yellow hibiscus (the state flower), the Hawaiian Island chain and the phrase “Spirit of the Islands.”

The soon-to-be Kaiser High School senior is a nearly straight-A student and a decorated member of the school’s Air Force ROTC program. Known for his artistic ability and interest in graphic design and athletics, Nee said he plans to invest his $5,000 for college and take his family to visit relatives in New York, where he hopes to see snow for the first time.

The “Spirit of the Islands” Boeing 737-800 was revealed to Nee at Honolulu International Airport on June 3, where he was joined by his parents, Robin and Mitch Connell, and father Aaron Garrett Nee, as well as Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney, Kaiser High School Principal John Sosa and several of Nee’s teachers. Also joining the welcoming ceremony were the 12 finalists and honorable mention winners, who received prizes and scholarships for their entries, as well.

Izabela Hamilton, a 12th grader at Seabury Hall on the island of Maui, placed second for her design featuring a male and female hula dancer against a backdrop of ocean waves and windswept mountain cliffs. Sophia Cleek, a sixth grader at Kapolei Middle School on Oahu, placed third for her design depicting a voyaging canoe sailing around the Islands. Hamilton and Cleek will each receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination and a $1,000 scholarship. The 10 other honorable mention winners were awarded a $1,000 scholarship each.

“Spirit of the Islands” trivia

  • The 129-foot-long Boeing 737-800 has a wingspan of 117 feet and a cruising speed of 530 mph.
  • A crew of 18 worked around the clock for 24 days at Aviation Technical Services in Everett, Wash., to paint the plane, which required 26 colors and about 140 gallons of paint, including 20 gallons of primer. In addition, 28,800 yards of masking tape were used.
  • The plane accommodates 157 passengers and six crew members.

The aircraft will fly throughout most of Alaska Airlines’ network, connecting destinations from Hawaii to San Diego and from Anchorage as far south as Mexico.

The “Spirit of the Islands” contest is the third time Alaska Airlines has turned to the public to paint a plane. The Spirit of Alaska Statehood aircraft paint scheme was created by a 16-year-old Sitka student in a similar statewide contest celebrating Alaska’s 50-year anniversary of statehood. In 2011, two soccer fans designed the MLS Portland “Timbers Jet” to celebrate the airline’s jersey sponsorship of the Portland, Ore., soccer team.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Please click on the photo for the full-size view.

What does it take to paint an aircraft like this? Here is a previous video on the painting of “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II“:

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

A few PenAir flights are cancelled due to volcanic activity in Alaska

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) has issued this statement concerning a few flight cancellations of PenAir (Peninsula Airways) (Anchorage) in Alaska due to volcanic activity:

Few Alaska Airlines flights have been affected by volcanic activity from Mount Cleveland, located west of Dutch Harbor, and Mount Pavlof, located near Cold Bay, Alaska. No Alaska Airlines operated flights have been canceled at this time.

PenAir, which operates an average of three flights a day for Alaska Airlines between Anchorage and Dutch Harbor, canceled six flights yesterday and two flights today after several low-level eruptions of Mount Pavlof. The Anchorage-based airline could cancel additional flights today pending reports from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and other state and federal weather agencies.

PenAir logo-3

PenAir’s Alaska Route Map:

PenAir 5:2013 Alaska Route Map

“While the impact these volcanoes have had on Alaska Airlines has been minimal, we will continue to closely monitor Mount Cleveland and Mount Pavlof for any changes that could affect service to Bethel, Adak or Dutch Harbor,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines’ chief operating officer.

Alaska Airlines operates an average of 125 daily flights to 20 destinations throughout the state of Alaska, in addition to 686 flights throughout the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.

In other news, the eastern division of PenAir will start twice-daily service between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Long Island MacArthur Airport (Islip) on July 25, 2013.

East Coast Route Map:

PenAir 5:2013 East Coast Route Map

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. SAAB 340B N675PA (msn 206) with harbor seals on the fuselage arrives at Anchorage in the old livery.

PenAir: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Air Cargo delivers the season’s first Copper River Salmon to Seattle-Tacoma

Alaska Air Cargo (Alaska Airlines) (Seattle/Tacoma) today (May 17) delivered the season’s first shipment of Copper River salmon to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. According to the airline, “the arrival of the coveted 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 four more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska, Seattle and across the United States.

“We’re proud to be the first to bring wild and sustainable Copper River salmon to seafood lovers across the country, in many cases within 24 hours after the fish is caught,” said Betsy Bacon, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “With so much demand for sustainable wild Alaska seafood, airline crews in South-Central and Southeast Alaska will kick into high gear to ship more than 2 million pounds of salmon across our 95-city network.”

Copper Chef Cook-off

Following the arrival of the first fish, three top Seattle chefs will compete to create the best salmon recipe in Alaska Air Cargo’s annual “Copper Chef Cook-off.” Pat Donahue, executive chef of Anthony’s Restaurants and the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Copper Chef winner, will compete against executive chefs John Howie of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, and Chris Bryant of Wildfin American Grill. Also competing against the three chefs in the cook-off will be Master Sgt. Robert Shulman, a 31-year U.S. Air Force Reserve chef representing the 446th Airlift Wing (AW) out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located in Tacoma, Wash.

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;” Chief Master Sgt. Tony Mack, 446th AW command chief from JBLM; and Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of customer service-airports and cargo.

In a special tribute to the military, 10 citizen airmen from the 446th AW, joined in the morning festivities to cheer on the four chefs and sample the season’s first Copper River salmon. Among the other onlookers awaiting the freighter’s arrival were five Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold members invited to sample the season’s first Copper River salmon. These frequent fliers donated 500,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program to attend the event. Hero Miles turns donated frequent-flier miles into free airfare for wounded, injured and ill service members and/or their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center and for other authorized events. Through Alaska Airlines’ partnership with Fisher House, the nonprofit that administers the program, nearly 6 million miles were donated last year to assist U.S. servicemembers injured and wounded in service to their country.

“The Copper Chef Cook-off helps to showcase the proud relationship the Air Force Reserves has with Alaska Airlines and hundreds of other employers and industry leaders here in Washington State,” said Chief Master Sgt. Tony Mack, 446th Airlift Wing command chief from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “Chef is only one of hundreds of vocations in the Air Force Reserve, and allowing one of our finest to compete is a testament to the relationships we have within the community.”

Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier Horizon Air employ dozens of reservists who serve as pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians as well as other air and ground crew. An estimated 10 percent of current Alaska and Horizon employees either still serve in the military or have veteran status.

The airline will use its Twitter account, @AlaskaAir, to announce the winning Copper River salmon recipe. The recipes that will be prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download at http://bit.ly/13qe3gS. Fish lovers are encouraged to share their own favorite salmon recipes on Twitter, using the hashtag #SalmonChef.

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 cool chain 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.

Copyright Photo: bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Air Cargo’s Boeing 737-490 (F) N709AS (msn 28896) arrives at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

Alaska Airlines expands operations at Portland, Oregon

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will begin new service between Portland, Oregon, and Atlanta starting on August 26 and between Portland and Dallas/Fort Worth starting on September 16, 2013.

“With today’s announcement, we will have committed to eight new routes from Portland within the last 12 months as we continue expansion of this hub,” said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of planning and revenue management. “With these new flights to Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth, our Portland-area customers will not only enjoy two new nonstop destinations, but seamless connecting opportunities throughout North America via our partners Delta Air Lines and American Airlines at their respective hubs in Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth.”

 

Summary of new service:
Portland-Atlanta
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Aug. 26 Portland-Atlanta 9:50 a.m. 5:35 p.m. Daily
Aug. 26 Atlanta-Portland 5:10 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Daily
Portland-Dallas/Fort Worth
Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Sept. 16 Portland-Dallas 10:15 a.m. 4:04 p.m. Daily
Sept. 16 Dallas-Portland 5:00 p.m. 6:59 p.m. Daily
All times based on local time zones.

During the past year, Alaska Airlines has expanded Portland service to Bozeman, Montana, Santa Barbara, California, Pasco, Washington, Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., and Kauai. In addition to the two new markets announced today, Alaska is also scheduled to begin flying between Portland and Fairbanks, Alaska, on June 9, 2013.

The Portland-Atlanta flight will replace one of the two scheduled Seattle/Tacoma-Atlanta flights, which the carrier will reduce to one daily flight starting on August 26.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-790 WL N607AS (msn 29751) in the Portland Timbers special livery taxies to the gate at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.

Alaska Airlines: AG Slide Show

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