Alaska Airlines’ Annual Plane Full of Salmon Lands at Seattle-Tacoma Airport

May 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Aviation geeks and seafood lovers: It’s that time of year again. Salmon season.

The state of Alaska has begun exporting its famous wild Copper River salmon for the 2019 season, and on Friday, Alaska Airlines brought the first shipment of the delicacy to the Pacific Northwest — Seattle-Tacoma Airport to be exact.

Alaska Airlines’ first salmon shipment has become an annual ritual among plane-spotters and gourmands alike. Each year, the airline dispatches its special fish-liveried plane, a Boeing 737-800 lovingly dubbed the “Salmon-30-Salmon,” to carry thousands of pounds of the fresh pink fish on ice in its cargo belly from Cordova, Alaska, to Seattle’s airport (SEA).

Photo by Alaska Airlines.
Photo by Alaska Airlines.

This year, the salmon plane ferried about 15,000 pounds of the fish fresh from the Copper River, according to King 5 News in Seattle. The airline rolls out an actual red carpet for the precious and delectable cargo, and the cockpit crew presents a symbolic catch of the day, for a photo op.

The salmon plane is, otherwise, in regular passenger service. I spotted it last year at a gate at SEA while boarding for another plane.

Photo by Jessica Puckett/TPG.
Photo by Jessica Puckett/TPG.

Alaska Airlines deliveries tens of thousands of pounds of the salmon to SEA each year. From there, the fish will be delivered to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the US.

“Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices,” Jason Berry, managing director at Alaska Air Cargo, said at last year’s ceremony. “Our Cargo employees are working around the clock to ensure we deliver the first catch of the coveted wild Copper River salmon to market, often within 24 hours of being pulled from the water.”

Wild Copper River salmon are a prized variety of the popular fish because they have a higher fat content, which means they are packed with even more flavor.

Featured image courtesy of Alaska Airlines. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.