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special section 2012 CORPORATE 100

Alaska Airlines

Staying connected and giving back By Rindi White

Marilyn Romano, regional vice president for Alaska Airlines Photos courtesy of Alaska Airlines

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laska Airlines was founded in 1932 as an in-state airline, carrying cargo and passengers in and out of Anchorage in a three-passenger Stinson airplane under the name “McGee Airways.” Eighty years later, the airline has routes crisscrossing North America and is preparing for further growth. Although it is now considered a major carrier and is the seventh largest airline in the United States in terms of passenger traffic, Alaska Airlines remains rooted in its home state. The company’s corporate headquar-

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ters are in Seattle, Wash., and workers are stationed all over the nation, but a significant portion of its operations are based in and focused on Alaska. The Alaska Department of Labor reported that in 2010, Alaska Airlines was the state’s 11th largest private-sector employer. It is the largest transportation employer in the state, ahead of FedEx and the United Parcel Service. With 1,700 employees in Alaska and 104 daily departures from 20 cities across the state, Alaska Airlines is one of the busiest airlines operating in the state. And while some companies sac-

rifice customer satisfaction for growth, the airline is a four-time winner of the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” award among traditional air carriers from J.D. Powers and Associates.

Staying Connected

Alaska Airlines is unusual among the large air carriers in that it routinely asks for input on everything from flight schedules to customer rewards programs from members of the Alaska communities it serves. Marilyn Romano, regional vice president of Alaska for Alaska Airlines,

www.akbizmag.com • Alaska Business Monthly • April 2012

April - 2012 - Alaska Business Monthly  

Alaska Business Monthly’s 2012 Corporate 100 annual special section begins on page 86. Top citizens of industry are highlighted in this annu...