As promised, here is another look at some more interim liveries used here at Southwest. As I mentioned in an earlier Flashback Friday post, airlines sometimes operate aircraft in the color scheme of their previous carrier, but with modified titles. This can happen in a merger or during a shortterm lease. For example, the old British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) used to provide assistance to the airlines of many emerging nations; so as an example, you would see an aircraft in full BOAC colors (or in this case, “colours”) with Ghana Airways titles.
While we don’t have international connections like that, we have flown a good variety of aircraft in interim color schemes during our almost 39 year history. Previously we have looked at a Morris Air 737-300 in the interim livery it wore after we acquired that carrier, a Trans European Airways 737-200 on lease, and two 737-700s acquired from the Ford Motor Company in Europe.
This week, I have some examples that are from a small poster showing our various liveries that appears to date from 1995 . It contains pictures of five aircraft in interim schemes. Let’s start with N702ML (msn 22054) below. This is a much-travelled 737-2T4 that served with Air Florida, Air Europe, Dan Air London, Nordair, and Midway before coming to Southwest in 1991. This photo shows the aircraft wearing the basic Midway livery with Southwest titles on the tail.
Moving on, the next aircraft also has an Air Florida connection. N83AF (msn 22699) is also a 737-2T4, but it has a much shorter lineage than N702ML. It was built for Air Florida, and Southwest first leased it in 1983 before purchasing the airplane and reregistering it as N130SW in 1984.
Next, take a look below–yes Southwest did operate a ”Proud Bird with the Golden Tail.” Built for Frontier in 1975, N7385F (msn 21069) is a 737-291. When Frontier was acquired by Continental in the mid-1980s, N7385F was sub-leased in August 1987 for a little more than a year by Southwest.
Airline geeks will recognize the livery below as belonging to the original Frontier Airlines. Also part of Frontier’s large 737 fleet, N7388F (msn 19920) has something in common with Southwest’s first three 737s. This 737-214 was also originally built for PSA. When Continental acquired Frontier, this aircraft had been not been repainted into the new Continental colors before coming to Southwest on a shortterm lease. Since the tail is all white, the letters match the red of the Frontier stripe. Upon completion of its Southwest duty, it returned to Continental.
The next photo isn’t Silver One. Actually it is a 737-3A4, N679AA (msn 23291) and it is a sister ship of the recently retired N680AA. It was delivered new from Boeing to Air Cal as N306AC, and it wore two interim liveries during its career. When American acquired Air Cal in 1987, American titles were applied over the basic Air Cal colors. Later American stripped it to bare metal before Southwest acquired it in 1991. Until we could paint it into the full SWA livery it wore a true hybrid livery with the American bare metal and red and gold stripes down the fuselage with Southwest titles on the tail.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at these unusual liveries. Next week, I will try to move away from airplanes, and bring you some other topics from the archives.