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The story behind the best-managed airline in the United States

Fishmonger Erik Espinoza from the World Famous Pike Place Fish Company in Seattle ceremonially carries a 35-pound Copper River salmon off a Alaska Airlines cargo plane fresh from Cordova, Alaska to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle Tuesday May 15, 2007.
AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner
That’s not counting all the salmon the airline ships south.
  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

AlaskaThis article is more than 2 years old.

Alaska Airlines is the only major US airliner that hasn’t gone through bankruptcy or a merger, as the New York Times documented today. Its unique association with the most remote state in the US has helped Alaska Airlines build a resilient business ferrying passengers and cargo around the West coast and made it one of the few successes in a trouble-plagued industry. It’s also a technological pioneer, developing satellite tracking technology that will be the centerpiece of a massive upgrade to America’s aerospace infrastructure—if sequestration doesn’t put the whole project on hold.

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