When I lived in Australia, there were not many choices in the way of special liveries. With only a handful of airlines and maybe one or two planes in a fleet with the occasional sticker on the side, there wasn’t diversity. But here in the US, you have many, many different options — which is exciting for a spotter like myself.
The one airline that astounded me as to how many special offerings they have was Southwest.
Southwest’s Florida One shows the states seal on the front of the plane – Photo: JL Johnson | AirlineReporter
Southwest has many different special liveries, but the most entertaining ones to me are the state liveries. The state liveries are based upon some of the airline’s more prominent destinations. Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Maryland, Florida… even Illinois. They are all named in the same pattern as well. Generally, the aircraft wears the name of the state and then One. For instance New Mexico’s aircraft is “New Mexico One.” California would be California One, but of course everyone knows there is an exception to the rule and that is, of course, Texas. They call their plane “Lone Star One.” The good news with Southwest’s recent fleet-wide livery change is that these special aircraft will not be disappearing!
The Southwest Airlines Deck Bar dedicated to its original founder
It is a Monday, your first day on the job with Southwest Airlines. You are nervous and want to make a good impression. You know that whatever you do on your first day, you want to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself, ensuring a second day. That sounds like something that would be going through a new hire’s head right?
ell, the thing is, every Monday all new hires at Southwest Airlines have the best first day introduction to the airline – the Southwest Deck Party.
View of Love Field from the Southwest HQ deck
Every Monday, Southwest Airlines has a “Deck Party” at their Dallas Love Field Headquarters. Located on the 3rd Floor, the deck overlooks the runways and the terminal at the airport and is a large open area that is ideal for a bit of a party.
To introduce new hires to the company’s culture, and more than likely to help all company employees relax, Southwest hosts this party with drinks and snacks provided. Not just things to eat or drink either; their are sometimes themed events, but there is always some kind of music.
If Southwest wanted to keep their full low-fare personality, I think I could get behind the new livery a bit more. But with going after more business travelers, the design says more “party,” than “all business.”
The first Boeing 737 (Heart One – N8642E) in Southwest’s new livery – Photo: Mal Muir
On a sunny Texas Monday morning, Southwest gathered hundreds of its employees, along with media from all over the country, to reveal a mystery that had been partially hinted at in previous days. Hints, rumors, and gossip pointed to a new livery and new branding, with huge feedback from not only passengers but Southwest staff wanting to make their feelings known.
But as everyone gathered in the hangar, it was almost a party-like atmosphere. CEO Gary Kelly got into the spirit and was among the staff, greeting folks and posing for photos.
More than just the planes are being updated – Photo: Mal Muir
When Kelly took the stage, he told the crowd how proud they should be. The airline employees have worked hard over the last 12 months for this special moment. “The one constant thing in the company is heart,” he said.
This gave a giant hint into what was to come. As the lights went down, a video played showing a transformation. The old livery shed its skin to a blank canvas. The new heart branding then slowly appeared onto the 737 on screen. Soon after, the doors opened, and there was the 737 in a new livery was waiting outside.
Are these the new liveries of Frontier and Southwest?
Today might go down as “Airline Livery Leak Day.” It appears that the new liveries of both Frontier and Southwest Airlines have leaked on the internet today, which shows that it is hard to hide things from social media.
The Frontier Airlines’ image shows an evolution of their livery with a retro “F,” but keeping the familiar animals on the tail. Whereas the Southwest livery maintains the same colors, but is more revolutionary in its design.