Southwest Airlines New Mexcio One on approach to Los Angeles Airport

Southwest Airlines New Mexcio One on approach to LAX

With so many new liveries being released by Spirit, FrontierSouthwest, China Eastern and Etihad, it’s time for a Livery of the Week.  But why look at just one livery – lets look at many.

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

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 ’œNew 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 ’œLone Star One.’  The good news with Southwest’s recent fleet-wide livery change is that these special aircraft will not be disappearing!

Arizona One seen at night in the gate Area - Photo: JL Johnson

Arizona One seen at night in the gate Area – Photo: JL Johnson | AirlineReporter

That said, with the new livery comes slight changes to the Southwest special liveries as well.  Gone are the days of the traditional tail with each state, but they will now wear a modified tail design.  The general livery will be the first one since the airlines inception where you won’t find the name of the airline on the tail. However, it will still be on the tail of the special aircraft.

The new tail design for the special liveries will show the same three colors of the normal livery, plus the airlines name at the base of the tail, just above where it joins the fuselage.

The New Southwest Special Livery Designs.  Incorporating both the existing & the New Livery details - Image: Southwest Airlines

The new Southwest special livery designs, incorporating both the existing and new livery details – Image: Southwest Airlines

The other good news is that the three aircraft still currently in the original (well, second livery, since apparently the first livery was slightly different) Desert Gold livery will be staying as is.

They are also going to keep one aircraft in the current Canyon Blue livery.  Which one?  Well, the first of their 737-800s – Warrior One.  This aircraft was named in honor of the Southwest Airlines’ staff and their warrior spirit.  So, in essence, Warrior One will become a retro scheme, as such, when the airline is finished repainting all the aircraft in 2021 (yes, that is seven years to finish repainting).

With all of the different special schemes in the Southwest Fleet, which is your favorite?

CORRESPONDENT - SEATTLE, WA. Mal is an Australian native who has been a huge fan of airlines and aviation and currently works in airport-related operations. Email:
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JL Johnson

My favorite is and always been Arizona One. Great post, Mal. Thanks for repping my favorite airline.

My all-time favorite was Shamu One!

Plane-Crazy Joe

Southwest’s ” specials ” are EXTRAORDINARILY ELUSIVE; nearly impossible to photograph!! I’m still chasing MOST of them, for MANY years! It’s RARE for me even to SEE them!

A few years ago, when on a Spotting trip out to Puget Sound, I saw and shot TWO Southwest ” specials ” landing, CONSECUTIVELY, on the SAME runway at SEA! What are the odds of THAT; odds that it will EVER happen again for me to see!?

Hopefully, now the merger with Air Trash ( aka Tran ) will be final in late December, I’ll see them at my home airport – ATL. At least occasionally!?

Plane-Crazy Joe

Correction: Paragraph 3: Amend to read ” Hopefully, now THAT the ” …

“…even Illinois”? You sound so surprised, Mal! After all, Midway is Southwest’s biggest base. I may be a bit biased, being from Chicago and all, but Illinois One is definitely my favorite!

in the sky

There is also a retro aircraft with the original paint scheme of gold. Tail number is 711HK…. for Herb Kellehr, of course!

chris wehmeyer

3 retro aircraft are in the desert gold paint (3 planes, one each for the 3 original cities of DAL/HOU/SAT) a/c 711HK, 714CB (Colleen Barrett), and 792SW (last delivery in original colors)

Actually the states are usually ones with Crew bases.

Maryland 1 is my fave, best from all angles. I’ll add here my pitch to WN for “Tennessee 1.” BNA is one of the larger WN stations, TN has some neat aviation history and the Volunteer State has some great options for livery design, from the state flag colors to the mountains to the Nashville & Memphis skylines.

The new designs are nice but the old designs were good enough

Aaron Hernandez

Louisiana is in progress as we speak

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I flew Shamu from Baltimore to Portland Oregon, June 2014.

Originally from Maryland, I love the Maryland jet. Love to get a model of it too.

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