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Taking Time to Appreciate an Alaskan Icon


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We are always busy at Alaska Business. Whether we’re brainstorming about important issues to include in the magazine or refining nascent products such as our weekly newsletter, the Alaska Business Monitor, there is no such thing as a dull day in our mid-town office. So much so that the letter from the editor, something that is deeply important to any editor—including me—often gets pushed to the very end of my list of “to-dos”. Not because I don’t care, but because each month I spend weeks agonizing over what to talk about in this space. Which of our many feature articles should we highlight? And, most importantly, what information can be included here to augment the rest of our content, adding more context to the news and issues we discuss on the website, in the newsletter, and in the Alaska Business magazine special editions, special sections, and feature stories?

This month was no different. We’re deep in planning for the Best of Alaska Business awards party and special section (the results are in and there are some surprises this year, all of which will be revealed in our July issue), and, of course, we’re planning for the Top 49ers event in September, while still writing, editing, and planning for the next big issue. All to say it was a pretty typical month, yet a great month because there was one big difference—I’ve known for several weeks what I want to focus on in June: our cover story on Alaska Airlines.

Featured on the Alaska Business cover this month is a pilot from Alaska Airlines, modeling one of the new uniforms the airline debuted earlier this year. She stands proud and strong, looking toward the future with a smile her on face. Her image is representative of Alaska Airlines and how it operates. For close to ninety years Alaska Airlines has been changing the aviation world through innovation, a commitment to diversity and safety, and whole lot of firsts.

“As we have grown to take Alaskans where they want to fly, our heritage and our roots are with us every mile. From the smiling inspiration on every tail, to the word ‘Alaska’ on the side of every airplane, we recognize and celebrate our past while always looking towards the future,” says Vice President of Marketing Sangita Woerner.

Alaska Airlines was born here in 1932 and has remained a steadfast partner to the many, many residents who depend on the air carrier to get them, their loved ones, and vital cargo to and from some of the most remote locations in the world.

Since the early ‘30s the company has not only grown in capacity, it has introduced decades’ worth of firsts. One first that forever changed the airline was the addition of the iconic “Eskimo tail” in 1976 (a topic that even today garners much curiosity from passengers who still ask Alaska Airlines’ employees, “Who IS that guy on the tail?). Theories range from Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley to a lion and Johnny Cash, but most Alaska residents believe it is the face of Alaska. “Whether the artists were inspired by real people remains a mystery to this day—both within the company and without—as no official documentation has ever been uncovered indicating that either the Eskimo or the miner was based on a specific person,” the company explains on its website.

With the addition of the Eskimo tail, Alaska Airlines really came into its own becoming a symbol of Alaska’s community and serving as a “reflection of people and their connection to the airline they love.”

We are excited to present to you this profile featuring Alaska Airlines’ growth from flying unscheduled flights in the most far flung of locations to today serving more than 44 million customers going to more than 118 destinations on 1,200 daily flights.

The Alaska Airlines profile is one facet of another Alaska Business page-turner. Also in June we’re publishing the Transportation Special Section, featuring the directory designed to help you connect with Alaska’s transportation companies, and the Construction Special Section highlighting current, future, and recently completed projects statewide.

Now is the ideal time to head outside, grab a spot in the sun, and delve into the June issue of Alaska Business.

 

—Kathryn Mackenzie, Managing Editor, Alaska Business

 

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