I’m a big fan of Alaska Airlines. I’ve always enjoyed my flights with them, and I love their paint jobs. While it may not be bush flying in the classic sense, every Alaska Airlines pilot no doubt has some interesting stories to tell about flying over and into the dramatic and unforgiving North.
The news from the airline this morning, though, is sad – they’re cutting about 10% of their flights in an attempt to curb huge losses, and up to 165 of their 1,500 pilots will be laid off (as well as many other employees).
In better news, there’s a new book about Alaska Airlines. Character & Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines, by noted aviation author Robert J. Serling (this is his 25th book), tells the story of the company from the early bush pilot struggles to the colourful corporate persona of today.
Although my copy hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t give you a review, I do have a new Alaska Airlines item adorning my office. The Boeing 737-400 you see in the photos below, decked out in their famous “salmon” paint job, is a nicely-detailed model by Skymarks (shot in my back yard a few minutes ago). It was cool to see the plane actually taking off at Juneau a couple of months ago, as the model was packed in the luggage I was carrying. (click on those photos to enlarge them).