Alaska Airlines Transports Salmon To Feed Healthcare Workers

Alaska Airlines teamed up with partners to fly the first catch of salmon from Copper River to Seattle on May 15th. The first to enjoy the fish will be over 200 healthcare workers from the Swedish Medical Center-Ballard.

Alaska Airlines helped transport the first catch of Copper River salmon donated to make meals for healthcare workers. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines delivers fish

The first catch of fresh, sustainable Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle on an Alaska Airlines plane. This is nothing terribly new for the airline. Some Alaskan communities rely on salmon exports for economic success. In Cordova, Alaska, over 50% of local residents work in the fishing industry.

To get the fish from the water market, fisheries and processors come together to work with Alaska Airlines to transport the fish. Thanks to air travel, the fish can end up in markets less than 24 hours after being pulled from the water.

Alaska Airlines Transports Salmon To Feed Healthcare Workers
Alaska employees unload the season’s first Copper River salmon from Cordova, Alaska. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Managing direct of cargo for the airline, Torque Zubeck, said the following:

“Alaska Air Cargo has long been a partner of the Alaska seafood industry. Now more than ever, we provide a critical service that directly impacts the economic vitality of the region. In Cordova alone, more than half of residents are directly involved in the fishing industry or related business.”

Feeding first responders

Alaska Airlines teamed up with plenty of organizations including Trident Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Copper River Seafoods, Copper River Marketing Association, and Seattle chef Tom Douglas to provide meals to healthcare workers battling the current health crisis. This was one way Alaska Airlines could say thank you for all of their work.

Alaska Airlines Transports Salmon To Feed Healthcare Workers
According to Alaska Airlines, the first Copper River salmon clocked in at 33 pounds. Photo: Alaska Airlines

What is so special about Copper River salmon?

Anyone who loves fish knows that some of the best fish can come at a high cost. Copper River salmon falls into this category. Chef Tom Douglas is a fan:

“I love everything about Copper River salmon. I love the richness of its delicate flesh and flavor. It’s very short season makes it a true delicacy. I am glad we get to share it with our health care workers and the Greater Seattle community.”

Chef Douglas will feature the salmon donated by seafood processors and the Copper River Marketing Association to create over 200 meals for Seattle-area medical professionals. Alaska Airlines will send pilots, flight attendants, and management employees to be a part of the efforts after carrying the fish on its planes.

Alaska Airlines Transports Salmon To Feed Healthcare Workers
Alaska Airlines employees will also assist in the effort. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Today, Trident Seafoods and Chef Douglas hosted some festivities called “Grilling for Good.” Chef Douglas is also partnering with his Serious TakeOut team and preparing some grilled Copper River sockeye salmon entrees that can be purchased through his website. All proceeds from the sale of these entrees will be donated to Food Lifeline– an organization that delivers food to shelters, meal programs, and food banks in Washington.

Alaska Airlines Transports Salmon To Feed Healthcare Workers
Part of the first shipment of Copper River salmon to Seattle weighed 9,000 pounds. Photo: Alaska Airlines


Alaska’s air cargo division is a major player in helping to bring Alaskan fish to the rest of the world– supporting local economies in the process. The airline hauls over 30 million pounds of cargo each year with the most extensive air cargo operation on the West Coast of any US passenger carrier.

Now, Alaska Airlines is bringing some treats from its namesake to its largest hub, Seattle, showing appreciation for the work of heroic healthcare workers fighting on the front lines.

Were you a part of this event? What do you think about Alaska’s shipment of Copper River salmon? Let us know in the comments!