Tuesday January 16, 7:33 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Is Now a Bird of a Different Color; Airline Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Fresh, New Look
DALLAS, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- When Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV - news) first took to the skies over Texas in 1971, the airline wanted a look that reflected both the times and its roots in the southwest United States. Its traditional color scheme of desert gold, warm red, and orange has served it well over the last 30 years, easily making it one of the most recognized domestic airline liveries. On the dawn of its 30th year, Southwest Airlines gives a nod to the past and looks to the future with a fresh coat of paint.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU064-a http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU064-b
``Our new colors launch Southwest Airlines into the next Millennium, bright with promise and brimming with opportunity,'' said Herb Kelleher, Southwest's chairman, president, and CEO, as he addressed Employees and frequent flyers during a launch party at the Company's Dallas headquarters. ``We've incorporated a new color to better reflect a more mature airline, but we kept our bright, red bellies to remind everyone that Southwest Airlines is still that spirited Freedom Fighter -- keeping airfares low so that more people can afford to fly.''
The new color scheme, inspired by a canyon sunrise, was designed by GSD&M in Austin, Texas, Southwest's long-time advertising agency of record. Canyon Blue was added to Southwest's traditional gold, red, and orange colors.
Beauty is more than skin deep. The interiors of Southwest's Boeing 737s also are new. The Canyon Blue will team with Saddle Tan in Southwest's new all-leather seating configuration. Brushed aluminum surfaces, deep blue carpet, and newly designed windscreens complete a comfortable interior look and feel for Customers.
``The two aircraft we unveiled today are the first of what will be an all new fleet paint design for Southwest Airlines,'' Kelleher said. ``All new planes delivered, from this day forward, will have our new colors. Our existing fleet will be retrofitted over time into the new livery.''
Southwest expects to receive 25 Boeing 737-700s in 2001; 27 in 2002; and up to 26 in 2003. Southwest currently has orders with the Boeing Co. up to 2012. As for its existing planes, retrofits will be done over the course of the next ten years as part of Southwest's normal maintenance program. Those retrofits will begin as early as July.
Southwest doesn't make a change this bold without first assessing every cost, inside and out. A special team of Southwest Airlines Employees spent the last two years poring over the costs, and the cost savings, of such things as an all-leather interior.
``Bottomline; this new look will not raise Southwest's costs nor require Southwest Airlines to raise its fares,'' Kelleher assured the crowd. He pointed out that the changes are actually a means of containing costs over the long run. ``For example, by simply converting from cloth to leather seats, Southwest Airlines will reduce the need to constantly replace seat cushions. Those replacement costs add up. The durability of the new leather seats will more than offset their increased cost. In addition, the increased Customer comfort may even encourage more people to fly Southwest Airlines, resulting in continued profits in the years ahead. This is a very good move.''
Kelleher also took this opportunity to thank Southwest Employees and loyal Customers for 30 years of hard work and dedication to the continued success of Southwest Airlines. In attendance were 22 of the airline's original Employees who are still fulltime staffers. They joined one new Employee from each of Southwest's 59 destinations -- including its latest addition, West Palm Beach- - on a trip to the Boeing Co. delivery center near Seattle yesterday. The group flew the first two aircraft in the new livery to the Dallas launch ceremony this afternoon. The 30-year Employees depart tomorrow on a 19-city tour of Southwest's destinations so that additional Employees can see the new look for themselves. Those cities include: Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Oakland; Ontario, Calif.; Phoenix; Oklahoma City; San Antonio; Houston Hobby; Nashville; St. Louis; Kansas City; Chicago Midway; Albany; Providence; Baltimore/Washington; Raleigh-Durham; Orlando; and Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood.
``I want to thank each and every one of you for your tireless dedication,'' Kelleher told his Employees. ``Whether you have been a Southwest Airlines Employee for 30 years or 30 hours, you play a key role in providing our Customers with the Freedom to Fly. Your magnificent efforts mean a lot to them, and to me.''
Southwest Airlines, the fourth largest domestic carrier in terms of Customers boarded, currently serves 59 airports in 58 cities in 29 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 2,650 flights a day with a fleet of 346 Boeing 737s with an average age of 8.4 years -- one of the youngest pure jet fleets in the domestic airline industry.
SOURCE: Southwest Airlines
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