Welcome to Alaska Air Cargo’s new customer newsletter. We’ll be keeping you updated on customer stories, new routes, new services, new freighters (they’ll be here before you know it!) and other things we think you’ll find interesting.
Seattle (SEA) - Omaha (OMA)
Year round service started June 5
Anchorage (ANC) - King Salmon (AKN)
(Seasonal) - June 5 to August 6
Anchorage (ANC) - Dillingham (DLG)
(Seasonal) - June 5 to August 27
Portland (PDX) - Atlanta (ATL)
(Seasonal) - June 5 to August 26
The above routes will be operated by Alaska’s 737 passenger aircraft. On average these flights will offer more than 2,000 lbs. of cargo capacity.
Networks in Portland and California are growing.
This summer with the launch of new service, we will have 44% more flights out of San Jose (SJC) and 17% out of San Diego (SAN) as well as four new destinations from our hub in Portland.
Big increases for San Jose and San Diego.
This summer we will have close to 30 daily flights out of San Jose (SJC), serving 14 different destinations, with same-day connections to many markets. This represents a 44% increase over last summer. We’re launching more new service from San Jose to Orange County (SNA), and San Diego (SAN) next month on top of new service to Eugene, Oregon (EUG) launched in November, 2015. We will support 29 daily flights out of San Diego serving 16 destinations—up 17% from 2015. Additionally, our GoldStreak service is expanding to include many new routes out of our hub in Portland, Oregon. With new, daily service to Omaha (OMA), Kansas City (MCI), Minneapolis (MSP) and Austin (AUS).
Shortly after 6:00 AM on May 17, we delivered the first shipment of 20,500 pounds of Copper River salmon from Cordova, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Top Seattle chefs competed in our annual cook-off with the season’s first fish, a 40-pound king salmon donated by Copper River Seafoods.
60,000 pounds in one day.
In total, Alaska Air Cargo shipped more than 60,000 pounds of the coveted fish to Seattle for distribution to points all over the country. Every year Alaska Air Cargo partners with the state of Alaska’s three largest seafood processors, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods.
“Employees work around the clock to ensure we can deliver the first Copper River catch within 24 hours of being caught,” said Jason Berry, Alaska Air Cargo managing director. “As the salmon season gets into full swing, our team is standing by to transport fresh Alaska salmon to restaurants and consumers throughout the U.S.”
Alaska Air Cargo plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, flying more than 20 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood last year, including more than one million pounds of Copper River salmon.
Top chefs compete.
Last year’s Copper Chef winner and James Beard Award nominee Ethan Stowell, executive chef and owner of Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, competed against executive chef John Howie, owner of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar and John Howie Steak, and chef Sam Burkhart of Etta’s and Seatown Seabar Restaurant. In an “Iron Chef” type competition, the three culinary elites had 30 minutes to prepare and serve the freshly caught salmon to a panel of celebrity judges. Fish-lover judges included Seattle Seahawks wide-receiver Jermaine Kearse, Lauren Bushnell, Alaska Airlines flight attendant and winner of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner and Mike “Totality” Kentrianakis, the astronomer and internet sensation who created a video in April of a total solar eclipse aboard an Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Honolulu. The video went viral with more than two million views. Seattle culinary icon Tom Douglas and local media personality John Curley co-emceed the event.
And the winner was...Ethan Stowell.
Fish fanatics who want to recreate the dishes can download the chefs’ recipes and learn what makes the Copper River salmon one of the most desired fish in the world on the Alaska Airlines blog.
Vice President Operations, Lynden International
Lynden International is a full-service domestic and international freight forwarder with more than 50 offices worldwide. We talked to Laura about how Lynden and Alaska Air Cargo work together.
What is your role at Lynden? My primary role is carrier management and relations as it relates to domestic line hall, ocean and air providers.
Tell us about your relationship with Alaska Air Cargo. They have been a large and significant partner for us for more than 30 years. Especially in Alaska and Hawaii. They provide us air services for loose or containerized cargo.
Can you expand on what you mean by “partner?” They offer published air services of course. But when we need additional capacity, or a specific type of product moved outside our normal lanes, Alaska will work with us to set up programs to service that need. Whether it’s retail, seafood, pharma, electronic products, etc., they step up to the plate for us.
What are examples of something outside your normal lanes? We had a long-term, legacy hazmat customer that we needed service for. Alaska, who didn’t typically handle hazardous materials from the state of California to Alaska, worked with us to to fly it on a consistent basis so we were able to maintain our contract. Another example would be a large legacy retail client that has a vey high requirement for on-time service. Alaska Air Cargo stepped up and helped us meet the requirement and to keep the client happy.
What destinations is Alaska Air Cargo working with you in? We move a lot of freight from the lower 48 into Alaska and considerable freight within the state of Alaska. Another one of our large lanes is freight from the lower 48 to Hawaii. And of course, we move a lot of seafood from the state of Alaska to just about everywhere. I can tell you we are looking forward to even more destinations and capacity with the proposed acquisition of Virgin America expected to close in 2017. We are also really excited about the new freighters that are coming.
How does Alaska Air Cargo measure up to other carriers? We undergo a business review process with Alaska three to four times a year. They are evaluated in variety of different areas: on-time service, claims, technology, etc. Alaska consistency rates in the top echelon of the scale. And it’s a demanding scale.
How would that be expressed in qualitative terms? They have extensive knowledge and expertise within the cargo division. They listen to their customers and make investments where required. And their board supports them so they are able to fiscally invest in the business – and it shows.
For example? For example, last year alone they made simple changes to the Seattle cargo facility to consolidate inbound and outbound customer drop-off and pick-up points, and added a resource to make sure cargo was on the plane as booked. And they are currently looking to augment their booking system that appears to be very customer friendly and powerful. The new freighters are another great example of this.
What about their personnel? Alaska has a lot of really good leaders. With a lot of knowledge and experience. They listen; it can take time but they do make every effort to meet customer requirements. That’s very different from other carriers, to be that customer-oriented.
Finally, Laura, can you give three terms that best describe Alaska’s partnership with you? I’ll actually give you four. Competitive. Reliable. Responsive. And customer focused. Very, very, very customer focused.
Everyone at Alaska Air Cargo is excited for the arrival of the new freighter fleet in early 2017. “The new fleet will offer more flexibility and capability across our service network,” says Jason Berry, managing director of Cargo. “We can provide more service in many Alaskan communities and we have new options for growth in regions that we do not serve with our existing cargo fleet today.”
Highlights of our newly converted 737-700Fs
The first freighter is being converted in Tel Aviv now and is expected to return to the fleet this fall with two more on the way in early 2017.
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