Alaska Airlines wins the Portland, Oregon-Washington Reagan National route, will introduce a “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon” 2 on a Boeing 737-800 this fall

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will offer a daily nonstop flight between Portland, Oregon, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport by September 8, following U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approval yesterday (May 14) of the carrier’s application to fly the new route.

No other carrier currently provides nonstop service to Reagan National from Portland International Airport. Alaska Airlines’ flights to National will significantly improve connecting service for passengers traveling from Eugene, Medford and Redmond/Bend, Oregon. With more than three decades of service to the Rose City, Alaska and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, operate more than 640 flights a week from their Portland hub – more than any other carrier.

Alaska Airlines currently operates three daily nonstop flights to Reagan National: two from Seattle/Tacoma and one from Los Angeles.

In other news, Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute yesterday (May 14) unveiled the world’s largest king salmon. Stretching nearly 129 feet, the fish-themed design will adorn a Boeing 737-800 and be revealed this fall.

Click on the image to expand to the full size.

The new “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II” design is derived from an earlier version of the paint scheme Alaska Airlines unveiled on this Boeing 737-490 (N792AS) in 2005, which was re-painted with the carrier’s traditional Eskimo livery last year. In addition to sporting the glimmering image of a wild Alaska king salmon like the original “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon,” the new design is about nine feet longer and also features fish scales on the winglets and a salmon-pink colored “Alaska” script across the fuselage. The design is among the world’s most intricately painted commercial airplanes and was produced in partnership with ASMI, which promotes wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood.

“This airplane celebrates Alaska Airlines’ unique relationship with the people and communities of Alaska and underscores our air transport commitment to the state’s seafood industry,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president of the state of Alaska. “Because the new design will be featured on a larger 737-800, this 91,000-pound king will boldly promote the world’s finest seafood from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston and beyond.”

Last year, Alaska Airlines flew nearly 25 million pounds of seafood from Alaska to markets in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Streamlined flight schedules and a rigorous training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables ensures the seafood that travels from Alaska waters to markets across the United States arrives fresh and often within 24 hours. 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.

According to ASMI, about half of the United States’ total seafood catch comes from Alaska fisheries. In addition, the state of Alaska is widely regarded as a world leader in sustainable management of its seafood resources.

Transporting about 115 million pounds of cargo annually, Alaska Airlines operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the West Coast.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. N792AS is only a memory now.

Drawing: Alaska Airlines. The new logojet is expected to be painted on Boeing 737-890 N560AS (msn 35179).

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