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Airline Livery of the Week: Hey Mon, It’s Air Jamaica

Air Jamaica (Caribbean Airlines) - Boeing 737-800 - 9Y-JMB - John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) - September 18, 2011 1 361 RT CRP

Air Jamaica Boeing 737-800 – 9Y-JMB  at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on September 18, 2011. Photo by TVL1970.

Air Jamaica’s fleet over the years has consisted of so many different aircraft it’s hard to keep up. They’ve operated everything from a Douglas DC-8 to Boeing 727’s to Airbus A340s. Heck, they even leased a Boeing 747-100 from Aer Lingus at one point. Fortunately for their fleet operations they now only operate Boeing 737-800s.

Air Jamaica has quite the history of varied government ownerships and privatizations. The airline was founded in late 1968 with the Jamaican government owning the majority share but with Air Canada owning a minor share and providing maintenance services. Air Jamaica was partially privatized which lasted for about 10 years before financial trouble lead the Jamaican Government to take back full ownership.

Today Air Jamaica is a subsidiary of Caribbean Airlines Limited, with the Jamaican Government still having a 16% ownership share. Talk about an interesting ownership history for this airline.

Air Jamaica Airbus A340-300 in last generation livery. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Air Jamaica Airbus A340-300 in last generation livery. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Their website doesn’t seem to be up-to-date with their fleet. One page on their website makes reference to operating seven A320s, one A321, and one A319. Another shows that they are operating the A340, A320 and A321. But on their fleet page, they only reference operating 737s — which is all they currently operate.

Air Jamaica operates flights from their hub in Kingston, Jamaica to various destinations around the Caribbean, New York (JFK), Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Toronto.

Air Jamaica’s new livery is much more snazzy than their old ones. I particularly like the brightness and how the colors on the tail transition down the side of the plane in a swoosh like line. Given that this is a Caribbean based airline, it’s certainly fitting (and almost necessary) that they have a colorful livery!

Photos: TVL1970 & Ken Fielding

This story written by…Colin Cook, Correspondent.Colin is an avid AvGeek who works in finance and is based in the Seattle area. He has an immense passion for aviation and loves to travel as much as possible.

@CRoscoe2121

Airline Livery of the Week: Alaska Airlines Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II

The new Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery shown off in Anchroage. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The new Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery shown off in Anchorage. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

One of the best liveries out there was Alaska Airline’s original Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. The airline re-painted the old salmon livery a while back and many have missed it (including me). Have no fear – a new salmon livery is here. This week, Alaska unveiled their Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II livery in Anchorage and it is even better than the first.

The new Salmon-30-Salmon has winglets. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The new Salmon-30-Salmon has winglets. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

This time, a Boeing 737-800 was used as a larger canvas. The fish-plane comes in at 91,000 pounds and measures at almost 129 feet. Alaska calls this “the most intricately painted commercial aircraft in the world.”

There are not too many differences between the older salmon livery and the newer one. The concept remained the same; to paint a huge salmon on a plane. One of the biggest changes is the fact that the 737-800 has winglets with scales. Also the “Alaska” name is painted in a salmon color versus white of the previous design.

How could you not smile flying such a beautiful plane? Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

How could you not smile flying such a beautiful plane? Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The design used four gallons of Mylar paint to create an iridescent sparkle over the nearly 3500 fish scales. Crews worked 27 days straight in Oklahoma City and used 21 unique colors to get this amazing livery completed.

“Today, we are proud to introduce the largest flying fish to all of Alaska and the world,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president of the state of Alaska. “Not only will this special plane spotlight the best, most sustainable seafood harvest in the world, it will also remind us of the important role the seafood industry has on the Alaska economy. On behalf of the 1,700 Alaska Airlines employees working in the state, we are also proud to safely fly the thousands of men and women who work in the seafood industry throughout the Last Frontier.”

Brandon Farris caught the S7S landing in Seattle.

Brandon Farris caught the S7S landing in Seattle.

A big thanks to Brandon for letting me share his photo of the Salmon-30-Salmon landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


The above video highlights the process of painting the Salmon-30-Salmon livery.

Alaska Airlines to Bring Back the Salmon-Thirty-Salmon Livery

Alaska Airlines New Salmon-Thirty-Salmon, which will be put in service in the fall 2012. Image from Alaska. CLICK FOR LARGER.

Alaska Airlines New Salmon-Thirty-Salmon, which will be put in service in the fall 2012. Image from Alaska. CLICK FOR LARGER.

Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute have announced plans to make the world’s longest, flying King Salmon on a Boeing 737-800.

In 2005, the airline unveiled the first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon on a Boeing 737-400. That livery was retired and painted over last year. Those who were fans of the fish-themed livery were disappointed and I know I have been hoping for a second version since.

The “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II” will be nine feet longer and will feature salmon colored titles on the fuselage. Also, check out those scales on the winglets — not too shabby. Alaska plans to unveil the new salmon livery sometime this fall.

The first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. Photo by Andrew Cohen.

The first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. Photo by Andrew Cohen.

“This airplane celebrates Alaska Airlines’ unique relationship with the people and communities of Alaska and underscores our air transport commitment to the state’s seafood industry,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president of the state of Alaska. “Because the new design will be featured on a larger 737-800, this 91,000-pound king will boldly promote the world’s finest seafood from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston and beyond.”

Speaking of Salmon, Alaska Airlines will be celebrating the first Copper River Salmon delivery with an early morning cook off this Friday. Once again, I will be getting up early to welcome the salmon and enjoy what the cooks are able to create.

Guest Flight Review: United Airlines Doesn’t Live Up to Expectations

Flying on a CRJ 700 down to LAX to catch my flight to Hawaii. Photo by Maresa Gochanour

Flying on a CRJ 700 down to LAX to catch my flight to Hawaii.

Maresa writes the blog Around Puget Sound and when she was recently taking a trip to Hawaii on United Airlines, I asked her to write up a review from a non-airline nerd perspective. This is her review in her own words: 

My United Airlines Review – The Beginning

I’m on my way from SEA to LAX to ITO (Hilo, HI). It’s time for a vacation; to get away and escape from the fast paced life we all seem to live in these days. I’m hoping for good weather for hiking, biking, and snorkeling. I’ll be staying in my very favorite vacation rental: Papaya Sunrise on the East side of the Big Island during the week of my visit.

Currently, I’m traveling from Seattle to L.A. I’m riding in a CRJ700 and it’s tiny! I’ve never been in a commercial jet this small on the mainland before. As many of you know, Hawaii has many inter-island jets that are about the same size.

We took off from Sea-Tac only about 10 minutes late, but our expected arrival is still ‘on-time’. I have about a four hour lay-over in LAX, but the way I see it is I’d much rather have way more time than necessary than be stranded somewhere I just didn’t mean to be.

It’s always exciting to fly. I love the views I get over Washington. I feel extra fortunate when I get the added bonus of flying past Mt. Rainier–talk about a spectacular view!

One of the nice parts about the smaller jet is it took hardly anytime to board the plane. Also, United was willing to check larger bags for free at the gate that were too big to fit in the narrow overhead compartments. My carry-on bag fit just fine, but it was nice to have the option to check it and to have enough space up ahead for my backpack. The folks on the flight who did check their bag will be able to pick up their bag right after getting off the plane without going to baggage claim.

Right now, the woman next to me is dozing with four radiant sunflowers clasped in her grip, undoubtedly from Pike Place Market. It’s a good reminder of Seattle, of the summer to come, and the sunshine that I’m on my way to see.

I’ll let you know about the next leg of the trip when I get that far…

From LAX to ITO, I rode on a Boeing 737-800. Not this exact one, but one like it. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

From LAX to ITO, I rode on a Boeing 737-800. Not this exact one, but one like it. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Over Five Hours Later

Wow, LAX was huge! My connecting flight wasn’t too far from where I landed. I have to tell you though, this second flight is shaping up to be much stranger and unpredictable than the first part.

When my fellow passengers and I were waiting to board, many people were struck by how rude the gate agent collecting boarding passes was to fellow passengers. “No, don’t go in that line! I said the right line–not the left!” The United/Continental worker shouted to customers. “No, rows 30 and higher may board, only rows 30 and
higher!” Calm down lady–I think you’re taking this all a bit too personally.

I found out a few minutes later that she wasn’t looking or scanning at the tickets she was collecting from people either, which meant that anyone with a ticket of any sort could board the aircraft–and someone did. A man got my plane to Hilo but didn’t find out he was on the wrong plan until he found someone sitting in his seat–how could there
be two people in seat 28E? “Isn’t this flight going to Denver?” The man asked. “No, we’re going to Hilo as in Hawaii…” The flight attendant responded sounding surprised. The man quickly grabbed his things and deboarded the plane. “In all my six years of working as a flight attendant, I’ve never had that happen!” The flight attendant said shaking his head.

After only 20 minutes in the air the pilot informed us that we’d be experiencing some turbulence for the next 150 miles–how long it would take to pass through, they didn’t say.

Now I’ve done a lot of traveling and encountered some pretty bad turbulence but this far surpassed it all. The flight attendants were all losing their footing and desperately trying to hold on. The SnackPacks were bouncing all over in the carts and were about ready to bounce out onto the floor. At the moment that I thought someone might
actually start to panic, one of the flight attendants actually did. He exclaimed, “Buckle up, buckle up! We’ll come back with the drinks and food, is everyone buckled, because I need to go buckle up.”

After a while, the turbulence settled down and the beverage service began again.The flight attendants were going right along and missed my row entirely. I called him back and wound up drinking a flat Ginger Ale. Great.

Photo by Maresa Gochanour.

Mauamai Beach on the West side of the Big Island.

Right Now

The flight attendants have just come back with another round of beverages and somehow they missed my row and walked right passed us again. When the attendant was called back by my seat-mate the man serving the drinks said abruptly to me, “What’d you want?” “Cranberry juice please,” I asked. “Here–” the man says shoving the can of juice
at me.

United/Continental, I was not amused…not amused. I heard one passenger say, “Never have I seen passengers treated with such disrespect,” but thank you for getting us all to paradise safely.

If you are looking for things to do around the Puget Sound region either as a resident or a visitor, be sure to check out Maresa’s blog, follow on Facebook or Twitter.