Eat Your Livery


If you are like me (and hopefully, for your sake, you aren’t!), your mother was always telling you "Eat your liver; it will give you the iron you need." Gee Mom, I thought, why can’t I just eat a pail of rusty nails because they would taste better. Well, an airplane’s color scheme is called a livery. For our first 30 years, we kept the same basic livery (thank goodness, he finally tied "livery" into this), and I admit that we got a few disparaging letters about our choice of colors. Then, to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2001, we introduced our new standard Canyon Blue livery. From that point on, all new aircraft, except for our "one-off" (the Anglophiles among you are probably gobsmacked that I used a British phrase) specialty aircraft, have been delivered in the Canyon Blue livery, and we began a gradual campaign to repaint our existing aircraft in the new colors. That process has come a long way, and it is rare to see an aircraft in the original colors.
However, one of the things that sets Southwest apart from the "other guys" is our sense of history and our continuity of Corporate Culture. We wanted a way for our aircraft to illustrate that, and we will be keeping three aircraft in the original livery. Why three? This trio will represent our original three cities, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, and we are calling this "new" old livery the SOUTHWEST Classic. All three aircraft will be 737-700s, and N714CB and N792SW will be two of the aircraft. (The "CB" in N714CB’s registration refers to our President and Culture "Guardian," Colleen Barrett. N792SW was the last aircraft delivered new in the old livery.) The other Classic aircraft (N711HK) has a name attached to it, The Herbert D. Kelleher, and it marks the third airplane to have carried the name of our Cofounder and Executive Chairman.
You probably have seen some of our specialty liveries, and they always are a hit with aviation buffs, and the two newest specialty airplanes are Maryland One that features the colorful, and a bit unusual Maryland flag, Maryland Oneand Slam Dunk One that celebrates our partnership with the National Basketball Association. Slam Dunk One featutes an incredibly three-dimensional basketball painted on the fuselage. slam_dunk_one.jpegAll of our liveries come from the wonderfully creative folks at our advertising agency, GSD&M. Most of us never know when the next specialty aircraft will be delivered, but I promise to let everyone know the details when they are public.


  1. I was watching planes land and take off from Albany, NY today and saw your Nevada plane. In the two years that my daughter has been flying Southwest back and forth between Albany and Sacramento to visit her boyfriend, I had never seen a plane in other than the usual Southwest colors. I just wanted to tell you it looks great! Nice job. I look forward to seeing some of the other special paint job planes in and out of Albany, too. A New York plane (maybe dedicated to the 9/11 victims) would be great, if there isn’t already one like that out there.

  2. Our family arrived at SeaTac last week from Baltimore and were greeted by the site of Maryland One heading to the runway. We loved it! The kids got to fly in Shamu when they were younger, and they loved that, too.

    We had four completely sold-out flights between Baltimore and Seattle, and each one was great. Congratulations on a job well done.

  3. I was very excited this past Saturday, Jan 20th. I finally saw Slam Dunk One for the first time here in Indy, and with this, I had now seen all of the special paint schemes here in Indy. I love the special planes, and along with my youngest son, we spend many a Sunday throughout the year sitting at IND just hoping to see one of them come into our airport. Maybe someday our state will get a special plane, but if not, watching for the others will continue. Keep up the good work SW, we love your airline.

  4. The plane that is.

  5. This photographer thinks that because there is both colors on the engine cover (I know that is a different name for it but I don’t know what it is) that
    will so be repainted in Canyon Blue. Is the photographer right or just a
    glaring MX boo-boo?