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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

TNT Express conditionally sells TNT Airways and Pan Air Lines Aereas to the ASL Aviation Group

TNT Express N.V. (Hoofddorp) has announced the conditional sale of 100% of the equity interest in its subsidiary TNT Airways SA (TAY) (Liege) and Pan Air Lineas Aereas SA (PNR) (Madrid) to ASL Aviation Group Limited (Dublin). The transfer is conditional on and will become effective immediately prior to completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express merger.

This change of ownership and control will ensure service continuity of the TNT Express operations after the completion of the proposed merger, in compliance with EU airline ownership and control rules [1].

ASL Aviation Group is an established European group of aviation companies, which currently includes three airlines (including Air Contractors), two support services companies and various leasing entities. ASL Aviation Group holds a European air operator license and operates and owns a fleet of about 90 aircraft in use for freight and passenger services. ASL Aviation Group employs close to 1,200 personnel and generated revenues of around €410 million in 2011. ASL Aviation Group is owned by Compagnie Maritime Belge N.V. (51%) and 3P Air Freighters Ltd (49%).

ASL Aviation Group will take over all flights performed by TNT Express’ airlines. ASL Aviation Group has entered into a service contract that will maintain service continuity. ASL Aviation Group will become a key third-party provider of the combined UPS-TNT Express group and will be invited to bid for all of the combined group’s outsourced air business in Europe when this becomes open to tender. Alongside its commercial agreement with UPS-TNT Express, ASL Aviation Group expects to develop further its third-party airline and maintenance businesses.

Almost all employees of the airlines will stay with the airlines except for a small number of employees who will transfer to the TNT Express’ Liège hub due to the nature of their work. As part of the transaction, ASL Aviation Group has committed to comply with applicable laws and regulations to respect all individual employee rights, covenants and benefits as exist under current ownership.

TNT Express does not expect the airlines ownership transfer to impact activities at TNT Express’ hub in Liège for at least one year following completion of the proposed UPS-TNT Express merger. Further, ASL Aviation Group intends to maintain the TNT Airways headquarters in Liège. UPS recognizes the significant value of TNT Express’ operations, assets and people in Liège and will develop longer-term plans for the hub, with involvement of employees’ representatives, the Walloon Region and Liège Airport.

Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista/Flyingphotos. Boeing 737-45D OO-TNP (msn 27256) of TNT Airways completes its final approach into Lisbon.

TNT Airways: 

ATRAN acquires its first Boeing 737, will operate for UPS

ATRAN (Aviatrans Cargo Airlines) (Volga-Dnepr Group) (Moscow-Domodedovo) has acquired its first Boeing 737 freighter. The pictured 737-46Q (SF) VP-BCJ (msn 28663) was acquired on July 23, 2012 and will be operated on the Cologne/Bonn-Moscow (Domodedovo) route for UPS under a freight contract.

Previous to this new addition the cargo airline, formerly known as Moscow Aviation Enterprise, has operated Russian-built aircraft, especially those built by Antonov and Ilyushin.

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. VP-BCJ is pictured at Cologne/Bonn today in a Volga-Dnepr like livery.

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