Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

Sub Pop plane (N587AS) makes Alaska’s fleet sing

Alaska's 2018 "Sub Pop" special livery

From the Alaska Airlines blog:

When we heard Seattle’s Sub Pop Records was celebrating 30 years and had always dreamt of having their own plane, we figured it was the least we could do. They gave us Nirvana and The Shins after all.

The independent record label got its start in 1988 and is known for signing central players in the grunge movement. They’ve since put several independent artists (and a store at SeaTac) on the map.

meganjasper sarahcass 03 web Sub Pop plane makes Alaskas fleet sing

Sub Pop Executive Vice President Megan Jasper

“It means so much for Alaska to say yes, music is important – music does make people’s lives better and brings us together as people,” said Megan Jasper, the label’s executive vice president.

We spoke with Jasper, who started as Sub Pop’s punk receptionist years ago, about our new partnership and the iconic label’s anniversary concert in West Seattle this weekend.

Alaska: Wow, 30 years. What does it mean for Sub Pop to hit this milestone?

Jasper: It’s kind of crazy. When Bruce and Jonathan started Sub Pop, they weren’t thinking 30 years from that point. For an independent label to last 30 years is something special. It’s not lost on us that we wouldn’t have lasted this long without great artists and community support. We’re very fortunate.

Alaska: What is one of your favorite Sub Pop memories from the past three decades?

Jasper: When Sub Pop started working with The Shins [in the early 2000s], no one knew who they were. They were a small band that would open for other bands. But their music was quirky and weird, brilliant and interesting. We were all mesmerized by this band.

When we released their second record [Chutes Too Narrow] in 2003, I remember them playing to the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. To stand at the balcony and look out and see them playing these weird, interesting songs to a sold-out audience that was packed full – and to see the audience singing every word – was one of those moments that will forever be in my heart. This little baby band had grown into something truly significant – a band that really had an impact on people’s lives. It made me feel like I was part of something so important.

Alaska: How would you describe Sub Pop to a stranger?

Jasper: I would describe it as an organization that celebrates independent music and is always developing artists in hopes of them having long-term careers. We try to do that with humor and with equal parts reverence and irreverence.

Alaska: We love this partnership, not just because Alaska and Sub Pop are two Seattle brands. We think we both strive to do things a little differently. Do you agree?

Jasper: When you are based in Seattle, WA, you really do things differently. We don’t have an industry-standard city as a base. We’re two companies that have had to figure out what works best for us and the people we serve.

We both strive to do things really well. I think when you put that experience first – someone flying on a plane or an artist looking for support for their art – that matters more than anything else. The attention to quality is felt.

Alaska: Has Sub Pop ever had an airplane?

Jasper: Hell no! We’ve never done anything like this, but we’ve talked about it for years. Sometimes you have dreams and you think they’ll always just be dreams. This plane being wrapped really truly is a dream come true for Sub Pop. It validates the importance that music has in people’s lives. It validates the work that this company has done. We always hope that what we do improves people’s lives.

It means so much for Alaska to say yes, music is important – music does make people’s lives better and brings us together as people.

The plane wrap is particularly meaningful for Sub Pop because it features stickers of our label we’ve used over the years. The rainbow flag sticker was created in June 2017 to help celebrate Pride month and has been in existence ever since. The owl sticker was designed by visual artist and musician Rick Froberg, who has recorded with The Obits and Hot Snakes, two bands on Sub Pop’s roster.

Alaska: It looks like you’re putting on an awesome event, SPF 30, to celebrate your anniversary this weekend. Have you had a show at Alki before?

Jasper: We’ve never had an event on Alki. For our 25th anniversary, we took over a chunk of space in Georgetown. At our 20th, we had a festival at Marymoor Park. It’s fun to throw these events, and we never want to do the same thing twice. We like the idea of reinvention.

We love West Seattle and think Alki is truly special. It showcases things we love about life in Northwest: mom-and-pop businesses, Puget Sound, the mountains and a stunning view of downtown Seattle.

Video:

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 SSWL N587AS (msn 35684) (Sub Pop) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 943014.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

Advertisements

Alaska Air Group reports second quarter 2018 results

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER WL N283AK (msn 36358) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 940240.

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net income for the second quarter under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, compared to net income of $293 million, or $2.36 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2017. As the company has recently implemented new accounting standards, including the standards relating to revenue recognition and retirement benefits, 2017 financial information has been adjusted.
  • Reported second quarter 2018 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.66 compared to $2.48 reported in the second quarter of 2017. Second quarter adjusted net income excluding special items such as merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments was $206 million compared to $309 million in the second quarter of 2017. This quarter’s adjusted results compare to the First Call analyst consensus estimate of $1.63 per share.
  • Paid a $0.32 per-share quarterly cash dividend in the second quarter, a 7% increase over the dividend paid in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Repurchased a total of 389,739 shares of common stock for approximately $25 million in the first six months of 2018.
  • Generated approximately $725 million of operating cash flow, including merger-related costs and other special items.
  • Held $1.6 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of June 30, 2018.

Operational Highlights:

  • Transitioned to a single Passenger Service System (PSS) in April 2018, enabling us to provide one reservation system, one website and one inventory of flights to our guests.
  • Reached a merger transition agreement with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to combine Boeing and Airbus dispatchers into a single group.
  • Completed Premium Class rollout on our Boeing 737-800, 900 and 900ER fleets.
  • Added Aer Lingus as a global Mileage Plan partner.
  • Added two Boeing 737-900ER aircraft and two Airbus A321neo aircraft to the mainline operating fleet in the second quarter of 2018. Added four Embraer 175 (E175) regional jets to Horizon Air’s fleet in the second quarter of 2018 and four E175 aircraft operated by SkyWest Airlines.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” in 2018 by J.D. Power for the 11th year in a row.
  • Received top honors in three Skytrax World Airline Awards categories including “Best Regional Airline in North America,” “Best Airline Staff in North America,” and “Best Cabin Crew in the USA.”
  • Virgin America was rated Best Domestic Airline in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” for 11 years in a row.
  • Ranked among Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” for the fourth year in a row.
  • Awarded “Best Food and Beverage in the Americas” by Airline Passenger Service Experience Association (APEX) passenger choice awards for 2018.
  • Received 17th Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing both Alaska and Horizon’s aircraft technicians for their commitment to training.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., today reported second quarter 2018 GAAP net income of $193 million, or $1.56 per diluted share, compared to $293 million, or $2.36 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2017. Excluding the impact of merger-related costs and mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments, the company reported adjusted net income of $206 million, or $1.66 per diluted share, compared to $309 million, or $2.48 per diluted share, in 2017.

“In the last year and half, we’ve made tremendous progress bringing Alaska Airlines and Virgin America together,” said CEO Brad Tilden. “We’re on very solid footing today thanks to the fantastic efforts of our employees, who delivered exceptional on-time performance and earned our 11th consecutive J.D. Power award for highest in customer satisfaction – all while completing the most complex part of our integration.”

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net income and earnings per diluted share (diluted EPS) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and 2017 to adjusted amounts.

 

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables. A glossary of financial terms can be found on the last page of this release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note A: Pursuant to Regulation G, we are providing reconciliations of reported non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis. We believe that consideration of these non-GAAP financial measures may be important to investors for the following reasons:

  • By eliminating fuel expense and certain special items (including merger-related costs) from our unit metrics, we believe that we have better visibility into the results of operations and our non-fuel cost-reduction initiatives. Our industry is highly competitive and is characterized by high fixed costs, so even a small reduction in non-fuel operating costs can result in a significant improvement in operating results. In addition, we believe that all domestic carriers are similarly impacted by changes in jet fuel costs over the long run, so it is important for management (and thus investors) to understand the impact of (and trends in) company-specific cost drivers such as labor rates and productivity, airport costs, maintenance costs, etc., which are more controllable by management.
  • Cost per ASM (CASM) excluding fuel and certain special items, such as merger-related costs, is one of the most important measures used by management and by the Air Group Board of Directors in assessing quarterly and annual cost performance.
  • Adjusted income before income tax and CASM excluding fuel (and other items as specified in our plan documents) are important metrics for the employee incentive plan, which covers the majority of Air Group employees.
  • CASM excluding fuel and certain special items is a measure commonly used by industry analysts, and we believe it is the basis by which they compare our airlines to others in the industry. The measure is also the subject of frequent questions from investors.
  • Disclosure of the individual impact of certain noted items provides investors the ability to measure and monitor performance both with and without these special items. We believe that disclosing the impact of certain items, such as merger-related costs and mark-to-market hedging adjustments, is important because it provides information on significant items that are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Industry analysts and investors consistently measure our performance without these items for better comparability between periods and among other airlines.
  • Although we disclose our passenger unit revenues, we do not (nor are we able to) evaluate unit revenues excluding the impact that changes in fuel costs have had on ticket prices. Fuel expense represents a large percentage of our total operating expenses. Fluctuations in fuel prices often drive changes in unit revenues in the mid-to-long term. Although we believe it is useful to evaluate non-fuel unit costs for the reasons noted above, we would caution readers of these financial statements not to place undue reliance on unit costs excluding fuel as a measure or predictor of future profitability because of the significant impact of fuel costs on our business.

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Aircraft Utilization – block hours per day; this represents the average number of hours per day our aircraft are in transit

Aircraft Stage Length – represents the average miles flown per aircraft departure

ASMs – available seat miles, or “capacity”; represents total seats available across the fleet multiplied by the number of miles flown

CASM – operating costs per ASM, or “unit cost”; represents all operating expenses including fuel and special items

CASMex – operating costs excluding fuel and special items per ASM; this metric is used to help track progress toward reduction of non-fuel operating costs since fuel is largely out of our control

Debt-to-capitalization ratio – represents adjusted debt (long-term debt plus the present value of future operating lease payments) divided by total equity plus adjusted debt

Diluted Earnings per Share – represents earnings per share (EPS) using fully diluted shares outstanding

Diluted Shares – represents the total number of shares that would be outstanding if all possible sources of conversion, such as stock options, were exercised

Economic Fuel – best estimate of the cash cost of fuel, net of the impact of our fuel-hedging program

Free Cash Flow – total operating cash flow generated less cash paid for capital expenditures

Load Factor – RPMs as a percentage of ASMs; represents the number of available seats that were filled with paying passengers

Mainline – represents flying Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 family jets and all associated revenues and costs

Productivity – number of revenue passengers per full-time equivalent employee

RASM – operating revenue per ASMs, or “unit revenue”; operating revenue includes all passenger revenue, freight & mail, Mileage Plan and other ancillary revenue; represents the average total revenue for flying one seat one mile

Regional – represents capacity purchased by Alaska from Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir. In this segment, Regional records actual on-board passenger revenue, less costs such as fuel, distribution costs, and payments made to Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir under the respective capacity purchased arrangement (CPAs). Additionally, Regional includes an allocation of corporate overhead such as IT, finance, other administrative costs incurred by Alaska and on behalf of Horizon.

RPMs – revenue passenger miles, or “traffic”; represents the number of seats that were filled with paying passengers; one passenger traveling one mile is one RPM

Yield – passenger revenue per RPM; represents the average revenue for flying one passenger one mile

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER WL N283AK (msn 36358) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 940240.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Boeing):

Alaska Airlines offers a new seasonal menu

Alaska Airlines today announced the roll out of a new seasonally-inspired Main Cabin food and beverage menu. Based on research and feedback from guests, the menu includes local ingredients paired with West Coast staples such as artichokes, tomatoes, asparagus, berries, avocados, artisan breads and cage-free eggs. Main Cabin guests will also enjoy a rotating selection of craft beers starting today and an elevated wine program, which will be rolled out later this fall.

 

“We believe in offering our guests locally-inspired food options made with fresh and healthy ingredients,” said Sangita Woerner, vice president of marketing at Alaska Airlines. “By drawing inspiration from the Pacific Northwest and California, we’re building a consistent experience for guests across our fleet that brings to life our West Coast vibe.”

New Main Cabin menu items are available for pre-order via the Alaska Airlines mobile app starting today, so guests can ensure their meal of choice will be reserved on their next flight. Currently, the pre-order feature is available on all Boeing aircraft, and will be coming to the Airbus and Embraer aircraft in early 2019.

The summer menu will be available from July 16 through Nov. 15 and features the following West Coast-inspired choices:

Breakfast (served on flights over three hours, departing between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.)

  • Fresh Start Protein Platter includes Greek yogurt, almonds, seasonal fruit, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, a cage-free hard-boiled egg, pita and non-GMO turkey.
  • Croissant Sandwich includes Applewood smoked bacon, cage-free hard-boiled eggs, greens and avocado mayo.

Lunch and Dinner (served on flights over three hours, departing between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

  • Turkey Artichoke Baguette features tasty turkey on a baguette with artichoke spread and avocado mayo.
  • Charge Up Protein Platter includes hummus, pita, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, all-natural grilled chicken, walnuts, a cage-free hard-boiled egg and seasonal fruit.
  • West Coast Cobb Salad is comprised of mixed greens, rotisserie chicken, grilled asparagus, Applewood smoked bacon, crumbled Beecher’s Flagship cheese, avocado, grape tomatoes and a bright lemon basil vinaigrette. Available on coast-to-coast and Hawaii flights only.

All Day (served on Boeing/Airbus flights over two hours and on Embraer flights over three hours departing between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.)

  • Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter this guest favorite is being upgraded with an additional cracker, to optimize the cheese-to-cracker ratio, a top request of fliers. It features two wedges of hand-cut Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, crafted in the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, along with two wedges of classic Tillamook sharp cheddar, and a slice of creamy Brie. Perfectly paired with five crisp Partners crackers, apples, grapes, and a decadent Seattle Chocolate truffle.

Craft Beers and Wine
Guests can sip the best from up-and-coming West Coast breweries starting today and beginning in the fall, a reimagined winemaker program will introduce guests to unique selections that regularly rotate. The seat back menu card will now feature IBUs (International Bitterness Units) with an explanation to help guests decide which beer to choose.

Craft beer offerings for the Summer menu include:

  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (San Diego) – 70 IBU
  • Lagunitas 12th of Never Ale (Petaluma, California) – 45 IBU
  • Firestone Walker 805 Blonde Ale (Paso Robles, California) – 20 IBU
  • Alaskan Brewing Kölsch (Juneau, Alaska) – 18 IBU

For our health-conscious guests, nutritional details will be available on Alaska mobile app as part of the pre-order functionality and will be coming soon to alaskaair.com and to the inflight entertainment portal (alaskawifi.com).

For the last year, Alaska has been reinventing the day-of-travel experience with free movies and free texting, new satellite Wi-Fi, an elevated First Class experience and the opening of our first reimagined Alaska Lounge at New York JFK airport. Aircraft cabin interiors will receive a facelift this Fall, with nearly half the mainline fleet expected to be retrofitted by the end of 2019.

From the Alaska Airlines blog:

Order the fruit-and-cheese platter every time? You’re not alone.

Starting today, we’re spicing things up with a new seasonal food menu. We spent more than a year hearing honest opinions, researching the most popular ingredients, and hosting tastings with guests, flight attendants and a Bay Area reporter. A few things became abundantly clear:

  • Fresh and local ingredients matter.
  • Change is good.
  • An extra cracker never hurt anyone.

The new menu pairs healthy, local ingredients with West Coast staples such as seasonal fruit, artisan breads and cage-free eggs. It will be available in the main cabin July 16-November 15. After that, you can expect new dishes to choose from – that’s right, we’re rotating menus to keep it fresh.

To ensure you get your first choice – even in the back row – we recommend pre-ordering food with the latest version of the Alaska Airlines app.

Without further ado, here’s a look at the new cuisine:

Croissant Sandwich

croissant sandwich with bacon and egg Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

The croissant sandwich includes Applewood-smoked bacon, a cage-free hard-boiled egg, fresh greens and avocado mayo. It will be served between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. on flights over 3 hours.

Fresh Start Protein Platter

fresh start protein platter Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

The Fresh Start Protein Platter features Greek yogurt, almonds, seasonal fruit, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, a cage-free hard-boiled egg, pita bread and non-GMO turkey. It will be served between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. on flights over 3 hours.

Turkey Artichoke Baguette

turkey artichoke baguette Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

A fresh take on the classic turkey sandwich, this baguette is topped with artichoke spread and avocado mayo. It’s available between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on flights over 3 hours.

Charge Up Protein Platter

charge up protein platter Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

Protein lovers: look no further. This platter comes with hummus, pita bread, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, all-natural grilled chicken, walnuts, a cage-free hard-boiled egg and seasonal fruit. It’s available between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on flights over 3 hours.

West Coast Cobb Salad

west coast cobb salad Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

Offered on coast-to-coast and Hawaii flights, the West Coast Cobb Salad combines mixed greens, rotisserie chicken, grilled asparagus, Applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled Beecher’s Flagship cheese, fresh avocado, grape tomatoes and a bright lemon-basil vinaigrette.

Signature Fruit and Cheese Platter

signature fruit and cheese platter Hungry for a Change? Alaska Airlines’ New Seasonal Menu Goes Fresh and Local

The guest favorite is here to stay. We’ll soon be adding an extra cracker to optimize the cheese-to-cracker ratio – a top request from our frequent fliers. The platter will be served between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Boeing and Airbus flights over two hours, and Embraer flights over 3 hours.

Flying First Class?

The recently-announced summer menu features Portland-favorite Salt & Straw ice cream, a Brie and arugula omelet, Korean-style marinated chicken and more.

Craving nutritional details?

You can find them on the Alaska app when you pre-order your food. Nutritional information will be coming soon to alaskaair.com and to the inflight entertainment portal.

All images by Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines launches nonstop service between San Jose, California, and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 942651.

Alaska Airlines begins nonstop service today between Mineta San Jose International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The new Alaska Lounge includes Starbucks-trained baristas who will create custom handcrafted espresso beverages and full-leaf tea beverages for guests.

Photo Above: Alaska Airlines. The new Alaska Lounge (below) includes Starbucks-trained baristas (above) who will create custom handcrafted espresso beverages and full-leaf tea beverages for guests.

Alaska’s newest lounge features a living room-esque design with multiple seating areas designed with business and leisure travelers in mind. (PRNewsfoto/Alaska Airlines)

With the addition of the new service, Alaska now operates 15 flights a day to JFK from six West Coast gateways including Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; San Jose; and Seattle. The new route builds on Alaska Airlines’ largest network growth in the company’s 85-year history and solidifies Alaska as the leading airline of nonstop flights from the West Coast.

With the addition of this new and expanded JFK service, Alaska provides 38 daily flights to 19 nonstop destinations from San Jose.

Timed with the flight expansion, Alaska’s newest Lounge is now open on the mezzanine level of Terminal 7 at JFK, offering a warm, welcoming experience with multiple seating areas, handcrafted espresso and full-leaf tea beverages, complimentary fresh foods, and a wide-selection of microbrews, West Coast wines and signature cocktails. Alaska is the only domestic carrier to offer all paid First Class guests complimentary access to the lounge, and the first domestic lounge to introduce a full menu of barista-pulled handcrafted espresso beverages.

Summary of new service:

Alaska gates and the Alaska Lounge are located in the same terminal as Global Partners British Airways and Icelandair, providing guests traveling through JFK with convenient access to a combined 10 daily flights to top global destinations across Europe. Members of Alaska Mileage Plan can travel and earn miles to more than 900 destinations around the globe through a unique network of international partners, with many flying out of JFK.

Top Copyright Photo (All others by Alaska Airlines): Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 942651.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Airbus):

Alaska Airlines announces new nonstop service between Sacramento, California and Kona, Hawaii

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 SSWL N590AS (msn 35687) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941631.

Alaska Airlines has announced the addition of a new nonstop service between Sacramento, California, and Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. The new service, which is scheduled to begin December 20, will be the only nonstop flight offered between the two destinations with a flight frequency of three times a week. Alaska currently offers nonstop service from Sacramento to Maui, Hawaii.

 

Effective Dates City pair Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
Dec. 20 – Jan. 5 Sacramento – Kona 12:15 p.m. 4:20 p.m. Tue, Thur, Sat 737
Dec. 20 – Jan. 5 Kona – Sacramento 2:05 p.m. 9:32 p.m. Mon, Wed, Fri 737
 Jan. 6 onward Sacramento – Kona 11:30 a.m. 3:35 p.m. Tue, Thur, Sat 737
Jan. 6 onward Kona – Sacramento 12:30 p.m. 7:57 p.m. Tue, Thur, Sat 737
Please note: The flight schedule is adjusted two weeks after initial start of service. Flight times based on local time zones.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-890 SSWL N590AS (msn 35687) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941631.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show:

Alaska Air Cargo grows service 40% across North America with Airbus aircraft

First Airbus A321 in full Alaska livery

Starting tomorrow, Alaska Air Cargo expands its cargo lift capacity by 40 percent in the continental U.S. by utilizing the 71 Airbus aircraft that became part of the Alaska Airlines fleet as part of its merger with Virgin America. Alaska Air Cargo will utilize the belly space in these aircraft to provide customers with new shipping destinations and increased frequencies throughout the Alaska Airlines system.

With millions of pounds of new aircraft capacity from coast-to-coast, customers can ship everything from fresh seafood to e-commerce purchases and other time-sensitive materials. Before the merger, Virgin America did not provide cargo service.

Alaska Air Cargo serves 93 destinations offering customers reliable cargo services and the competitive advantage of Alaska Airlines broad and enhanced flight network.

In addition to increased belly load capacity, Alaska Air Cargo recently upgraded their fleet to include three 737-700 retrofitted freighter aircraft. With the addition of a dedicated all-freighter fleet, Alaska Air Cargo provides reliable scheduled and drop-in service for 19 communities across Alaska; connecting them to the cargo hub in Seattle.

Alaska Air Cargo transports more than 170 million pounds of cargo annually—including seafood, mail and freight —and operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the U.S. West Coast of any passenger airline.

Alaska Airlines is now redeploying the ex-Virgin America aircraft to other non VA markets and routes.

According to Airline Route, Alaska is now assigning the Airbus fleet to the following routes this summer:

A319
Los Angeles – Chicago O’Hare
Seattle/Tacoma – Las Vegas
Seattle/Tacoma – Portland OR

A320
Los Angeles – Los Cabos
Portland OR – San Diego
Portland OR – Seattle/Tacoma
San Diego – Los Cabos
San Jose CA – New York JFK
Seattle/Tacoma – Austin
Seattle/Tacoma – Burbank
Seattle/Tacoma – New York JFK
Seattle/Tacoma – Orange County
Seattle/Tacoma – San Jose CA
Seattle/Tacoma – Washington Dulles

A321
Los Angeles – Chicago O’Hare
Los Angeles – Washington Dulles
San Francisco – Boston
Seattle/Tacoma – New York JFK

Top Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Airbus A321-253N WL D-AVXY (N928VA) (msn 8246) XFW (Gerd Beilfuss). Image: 942212.

Route Map:

Summer menu from Alaska Airlines (in First Class)

From the Alaska Airlines blog:

How does brioche French toast with rhubarb thyme compote, real maple syrup and scrambled eggs sound for breakfast? Or, if it’s dinner time, perhaps some miso ginger beef with mesclun mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and ginger vinaigrette?

These are just two of the dishes rolling out on our First Class summer menu on Saturday, a selection that focuses on simplicity, fresh ingredients and generous portions.

The meals will be served on any flight with a First Class cabin – Boeing, Airbus and Embraer aircraft – and will change every three months based on the season.

“Our guests have told us they want more fresh food, larger quantities and a wider variety of options,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, director of food & beverage. “With a focus on local and healthy food with complex flavors, as well as our thoughtful beer and wine choices, the menu has a distinctive West Coast vibe.”

West Coast suppliers favored

The menu, which will be available on flights until Sept. 15, will also incorporate new snack baskets to supplement meals or to replace an existing snack, which is something guests and flight attendants had been asking for.

All meals will incorporate fresh, in-season produce such as berries, arugula and leeks – supporting a trend of healthier and more sustainable foods that many of our guests have adopted.

West Coast companies will source ingredients, where possible. Supporting local companies include Roons, a bakery in Portland specializing in macaroons or Sweet Lady Jane, a bakery in Los Angeles as well as Cucina Fresca, based in Seattle, for ravioli and a Bolognese sauce. We also look to strengthen existing relations with companies such as Seattle Chocolates, by continuing to hand out a pre-arrival truffle on many meals.

One of the most exciting changes for the summer menu includes adding wildly popular ice cream from Salt & Straw, a Portland company that has a fanatical following amongst ice cream lovers.

After learning how flying can dramatically alter taste, Salt & Straw’s head ice cream maker Tyler Malek hand selected the best flavors to enjoy at 35,000 feet. The family-run business launched entirely new single-serve packaging specifically for Alaska, and we are their exclusive airline partner. The ice cream will be served as a dessert on flights between the East Coast and West Coast as well as flights to Hawaii.

Which meals are served will depend on the time of day, length of the flight and direction.

Guest feedback was key

The menu items were refined with the help of a focus group made up of four flight attendants, five guests and Chris McGinnis, a reporter from the San Francisco Gate news site, who had positive things to say about the selections.

Sample menu items

Snack basket: a mix of sweet and salty items including a banana, dark chocolate, Kind bars, almonds, jerky and popcorn chips.

Breakfast:

  • Breakfast Quesadilla: Griddled flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, black beans, mozzarella cheese, and sautéed bell peppers and onions.  Served with roasted baby tri-color potatoes, fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole.
  • Brie and Arugula Omelet: Omelet stuffed with sautéed leeks, arugula, and Brie cheese.  Served with roasted fingerling potato slices, grilled asparagus, artichoke hearts, and crisp applewood bacon.

Lunch/Dinner:

  • Salad with Blackberries: Arugula, radicchio, fresh basil, blackberries, grape tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese.  Served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Appetizer)
  • Sweet Pea and Tarragon Ravioli: Ravioli filled with sweet green pea and tarragon puree.  Served with grilled scallions, roasted tomatoes, grilled yellow squash and Portobello mushrooms, and a parsley cream sauce; garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese. (Entrée)
  • Bulgogi Chicken: Korean-style chicken marinated with soy, ginger, garlic, scallions, and sesame oil.  Served with mixed black and jasmine rice, Chinese broccoli, and spicy-sweet gochujang (red pepper) sauce. (Entrée)
  • Afternoon Protein Plate: Cold platter with Brie cheese, hardboiled egg, grilled flatbread, baby carrots, breakfast radishes, sliced cucumber, stuffed peppadew peppers, lemon beet hummus and walnuts. (Short Haul Entrée)
  • Salt & Straw Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons ice cream (Dessert)

Photo: Alaska Airlines.