SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines (AS) delivered the first Copper River Salmon from Cordova (CDV) to Seattle (SEA) and Anchorage (ANC) to be distributed throughout the United States this past week.
The 34-pound salmon was delivered to local Seattle chef Tom Douglas who was on hand to accept the first fish of the season. He told reporters it would be cut up into filets and sold for US$50/plate, with all the money going to local charity Ballard Food Bank with Trident Seafoods matching the donation. This delivery also marks another milestone for Trident Seafoods as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“We are very excited to bring in the first King Salmon from Copper River and are grateful for all the independent fishermen that continue to choose to be our partners and deliver the best quality and freshest fish to the world. Our history of partnership with Copper River goes back many years and we look forward to continuing working together in responsibly sharing the best from Alaska with the world,” said Joe Bundrant, CEO of Trident Seafoods.
AS9630 landed in Seattle at 08:16 local time with 18,000lbs of fresh caught Salmon, as it was unloaded off the plane you could see most labels for Seattle and a few boxes labeled to head off to Boise and as far away as Boston. This year Alaska Airlines used a standard-painted Boeing 737-800(WL). In the past, the “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon” painted aircraft would have been used for this mission, but it has been recently replaced by “X̱áat Ḵwáani” – a new special salmon-themed livery, dedicated to Native Alaskans.
“Alaska Air Cargo has a special partnership with the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices,” said Adam Drouhard, managing director at Alaska Air Cargo. “Our cargo employees across more than 110 airports are working around the clock to ensure we deliver the first catch of wild Copper River salmon to market, often within 24 hours of being pulled from the water.”
First AS 737-800 Ready for Conversion
On the same day of the delivery of the first Copper Salmon, the first AS Boeing 737-800(WL) to undergo cargo conversion (N584AS · MSN 35682 · LN 2365) arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO).
“We’re thrilled to expand our freighter fleet, which allows for additional cargo capacity to quickly move even more household supplies, food, Alaska seafood, and medicine between the state of Alaska and points throughout the U.S. The first of two 737-800s is already being converted into a freighter in Costa Rica.” Alaska Airlines confirmed to Airways.
N584AS is expected to return to the fleet before the end of the year. The aircraft will come out of conversion with ETOPS 180 extended operations capabilities, which means that the freighter will be able to fly 180-minute extended operations over water and remote regions, enabling Alaska Airlines to open new cargo markets, including Hawaii.
Featured Image: The First Copper River Salmon of 2023 is delivered in Seattle. Photo Brandon Farris/Airways