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New York (AirGuide - Destination News - Food) May 20, 2012

Alaska Airlines Alaska Air Cargo Delivers Season's First Copper River Salmon to Seattle. Alaska Air Cargo delivered the season's first shipment of Copper River salmon today to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The arrival of 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 three more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Alaska, Seattle and across the United States. Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. The carrier flew nearly 25 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond last year, including nearly 1.8 million pounds of Copper River salmon. "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 Torque Zubeck, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. "With enhanced food quality procedures and additional flights to support the Alaska seafood industry, we are going the extra mile to deliver seafood that's as fresh as possible." 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 "Copper Chef Cook-off." Pat Donahue, executive chef of Anthony's Restaurants and the 2010 and 2011 Copper Chef winner, will compete against executive chefs Jason Wilson of CRUSH and Wayne A. Johnson of Ray's Boathouse. 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; Joanne Dunham, co-owner of Dunham Cellars; Gary Horner, senior winemaker at Erath Winery; and Bill Ayer, chairman of Alaska Air Group. To showcase the versatility of Copper River salmon, two Northwest wines, an Oregon pinot noir from Erath and a Washington chardonnay from Dunham Cellars, have been selected to pair with the salmon in this year's cook-off. The wines were selected for their flavor-enhancing profiles that blend well with salmon and break the old adage that fish only pairs with white wine. The airline will use its Twitter account, @AlaskaAir, to announce the winning Copper River salmon recipe. The three recipes that will be prepared for the Copper Chef Cook-off are available to download at http://bit.ly/JNOHmK . 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. Note to media: High-resolution photographs of the season's first Copper River salmon and Alaska Air Cargo's "Copper Chef Cook-off" will be posted in the airline's online newsroom image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroomEby noon Pacific time, May 18, 2012. Together with sister carrier Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines transports more than 115 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 and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom. May 18, 2012

Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Unveil 129-foot Salmon. Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute today 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. The new "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II" design is derived from an earlier version of the paint scheme Alaska Airlines unveiled on a 737-400 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. "Alaska Airlines has a long history of supporting the Alaska seafood industry, and this special plane celebrates that commitment," ASMI Executive Director Ray Riutta said. "We're proud to partner with the state's hometown airline." 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. Note to media: An artistic rendering of the new "Salmon-Thirty Salmon II" design is available in the airline's online newsroom image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom. May 14, 2012

British Airways British Airways said itOs upgrading its in-flight service following feedback from 400 passengers invited to workshops in London, New York, Mumbai and ShanghaiEto help anticipate trends like the rise of AppleOs iPad. Enhancements at the airline, which was the first to offer flat-bed seats in 1996, will include steps to improve the flying experience for family groups, as well as measures aimed at premium travelers, Frank van der Post, managing director for brands and customer experience, said in an interview. The first of five Oinnovation platformsO will be revealed in coming months and should enter service within a year, though others may take much longer to reach fruition given required safety clearances, said Van der Post, a hotel-industry veteran recruited in 2011 from Jumeirah Group. BA is only now completing a 100 million-pound ($161 million) revamp of its first-class cabins which saw the first planes fitted out from January 2010. OWe have to start coming up with the things the customer doesnOt know he wants yet,O the executive said by phone. OComing from the hospitality trade you quickly learn that airline programs can take a much longer time to approve and implement. So we have to have more discipline in planning further ahead.O Apple Aid London-basedEBritish Airways (IAG), a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, has equipped 1,200 of its crew members with Apple iPad computers loaded with information on frequent flyers to help provide custom in-flight service. Data is added a 24 hours before departure and updated until takeoff, with the tablet small enough to be used discreetly in the cabin. Yet as recently as five years ago, nobody had any inkling of how important the iPad and its precursor the iPhone would become and how they might aidEcustomer service in the airline industry, said Van der Post, who before working at Dubai-based Jumeirah spent 20 years at InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG), the worldOs largest provider of lodging rooms. The next phase of the iPads initiative will see the devices issued to ground staff at LondonOs Gatwick airport, while passengers can also now book flights using iPhones. Inflight Calls Carriers are intensifying competition for premium clients as the economic slump hits travel budgets, with Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. spending 100 million pounds on frills including a cheese trolley and afternoon tea and Lufthansa adding flat-bed seats with 8 percent more space. Virgin also announced last week that it will become the first U.K. carrier to allow passengers to make and receive phone calls mid-flight. The technology will be available on new Airbus SAS A330 aircraft flying from London to New York and will be fitted on Boeing 747s undergoing a 50...

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