Alaska Airlines’ latest Boeing 737-800 has broken cover at Boeing’s plant in Seattle resplendent in one of the airline’s original colour schemes, to mark its 75th anniversary.
The 737 (N569AS, pictured below) has been painted in Alaska’s Starliner scheme which adorned the airline’s Douglas DC-3s and DC-4s, as well as its Curtiss C-46s and other types, from the early 1940s until shortly after the end of the Second World War. The original scheme featured a polished aluminium skin, but due to the additional maintenance requirements this would require, Alaska decided to paint the 737 silver to replicate that appearance.
The airline was originally called Alaska Star Airlines and this scheme was introduced with the change in name. “Our DC-3s were all branded as ‘Starliner’ followed by a city name,” says Greg Latimer, managing director of brand and product marketing. “Instead of the city name, we’ve used ‘75’ to signify our 75th anniversary.”
The freshly painted 737 - officially named “Starliner 75” - will make its public debut next Tuesday at a special delivery ceremony at Boeing Field in Seattle. The aircraft will then be positioned to nearby Seattle-Tacoma international airport for an employee viewing and reception and will be put into service on 1 March as 'Flight 1' from Seattle to Anchorage and Fairbanks