This entry was written by Flightglobal reporter Jon Hemmerdinger, who we hope to have posting regularly to the Airline Business Blog in short order.
Alaska Airlines is showing off its dedication to Hawaii – literally.
The Seattle-based carrier unveiled a Boeing 737-800 painted in its new “Spirit of the Islands” livery in Honolulu on 3 June, its first themed livery related to the state.
The livery on N460AS demonstrates Alaska’s dramatic growth in Hawaii, which represents about 20% of revenues after only three years of service.
It designed by 17-year old local high school student Aaron Nee, who was joined by classmates, teachers and state officials at the unveiling ceremony. His design was selected from among 2,700 entries that Alaska received from school children across Hawaii in its “Paint-the-Plane” contest.
The design shows a canoe sailing in blue waters off a lush, green, mountainous coast, colourful hibiscus flowers – Hawaii’s state flower – and an aerial rendering of the Hawaiian islands.
Nee will receive a $5,000 scholarship and tickets for four passengers to any of Alaska’s destinations, says the airline.
Alaska says a crew of 18 completed the paint job in 24 days, using 26 colours, 140 gallons of paint and 28,800 yards (26,335m) of masking tape.