Specialty Aircraft



1972 to 1978 - LUV Over Texas


August 17, 1976

Seven Southwest Airlines' Sales Representatives shock Texas travelers as they drive in the Company's newest fleet of American Motors Gremlins and Pacers, complete in every detail—from the colors to the Southwest logo on the hatchback—to resemble a Southwest plane.

August 03, 1978

Southwest Airlines and Braniff International jointly announce that the two companies have settled all of their long-standing differences and have signed agreements under which Braniff will lease a 727-200 aircraft to Southwest for a period of two years (effective March 1979), and also provide training and maintenance services in connection therewith.

October 31, 1978

Herb Kelleher is honored in a surprise ceremony at the Southwest Maintenance Center as aircraft N52 is christened The Herbert D. Kelleher.

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1979 to 1981 - More than Texas


January 10, 1980

Southwest returns the Boeing 727-200 aircraft that was under lease from Braniff International.

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1985 to 1989 - Heartland LUV


May 23, 1988

Southwest and Sea World of Texas introduce Shamu One, a Boeing 737-300 painted like a killer whale. The jet arrives in San Antonio with special passengers dressed in "penguin suits"—Herb; George Becker, Chairman of Sea World of Texas; Henry Cisneros, Mayor of San Antonio; Annette Strauss, Mayor of Dallas; and Kathy Whitmire, Mayor of Houston—on its maiden tour to Southwest's original three cities. Shamu One completed a 27 city tour over six days including each of Southwest's cities and New York.

May 23, 1989

May 23, 1989 1st anniversary of Shamu One. In the past 12 months, Shamu One flew 1.1 million miles between Southwest destination cities.

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1990 to 1994 - Look West, Young Airline


May 30, 1990

Shamu One has a brand new sibling named Shamu Two. The sleek Boeing 737-500 joins the fleet as our 100th airplane.

September 07, 1990

Shamu Three is introduced.

November 07, 1990

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, Southwest unveils Lone Star One, a Boeing 737 that pays tribute to Southwest Employees and the state of Texas.

February 11, 1993

Employees dedicate a new Boeing 737-300 named Heroes of the Heart to our 81 Station Administrative Coordinators.

May 23, 1994

Arizona One, Southwest's fifth specially painted signature aircraft, is publicly rolled out at a special ceremony in PHX as a tribute to the Grand Canyon State.

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1995 to 1997 - Southern Days and Southern Flights


March 10, 1995

Southwest salutes Jack Vidal, our original VP Maintenance, by dedicating a plane in his name for recognition of 24 years of service and leadership.

July 27, 1995

Southwest dedicates a new 737-300 is dedicated to June Morris, founder of Morris Air, today. The signature of June Morris and the Morris Air logo will grace the side of the plane's cockpit.

August 11, 1995

Southwest unveils California One, a plane designed to honor our Customers and more than 2,700 Employees in California. The plane is white in color and boldly decorated with a red star and giant bear.

September 28, 1995

A Southwest Airlines jet takes off on a special coast-to-coast mission to extend a heartfelt thank you to the countless volunteers who came to the aid of the victims of Oklahoma City's Alfred. P. Murray Federal Building bombing. Our shiny new 737 is renamed Oklahoma One for the "Thank You America" tour and temporarily dons a special ribbon-shaped decal.

June 14, 1996

Our Employees attend THE Deck Party of the Century—the "Still Nuts Party"—in the parking lot of Headquarters. Highlighting the festivities is the unveiling of Silver One, our commemorative 25th anniversary plane, the newest member of the fleet.

June 09, 1997

The Company flew 2,378.3 million RPMs in May 1997, a 4.5% increase over the 2,276.6 million RPMs flown in May 1996. ASMs increased 7.3% to 3,700.6 million. Triple Crown One, a flying tribute to the Employees of Southwest Airlines, arrives at Dallas Love Field in honor of the 24,000+ workers of the airline who helped achieve five consecutive annual Triple Crowns. Herb retires the Triple Crown. He asks Employees to "Gimme 60 million" annual Customers boarded by the Company in 2001.

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1998 to 2000 - Southwest Flies Northeast


January 07, 1999

Southwest Airlines inducts baseball great Nolan Ryan into its very own Hall of Fame with the dedication of the Nolan Ryan Express, a high flying tribute to Ryan's outstanding achievements. Ryan recently returned to Texas from Manhattan, N.Y., where he was announced as one of this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. He will become only the seventh Texan to join this prestigious membership. Ryan was the first passenger to board the "Nolan Ryan Express," a Southwest Boeing 737-700, as it carried him to dedication ceremonies in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. During christening celebrations in Dallas and Houston, he autographed both sides of the aircraft's nose on two specially designed decals each featuring a baseball with airplane wings and a Southwest colored tail.

June 02, 1999

Southwest Airlines Vacations announces the kickoff of an advertising/marketing campaign targeting Spanish-speaking Customers. SWA has established a dedicated toll-free phone number, 1-888-423-5683, staffed with bilingual reservation agents to assist Spanish-speaking travel agents and Customers. Southwest unveils Nevada One, a Boeing 737-700 donning the design of the Nevada state flag, to commemorate Southwest's dedication to our Customers in the "Battle Born" state. The festive paint scheme consists of 15 gallons of blue, six gallons or green, five gallons of yellow, three gallons of each desert gold and white, and two gallons each of black, grey, red, and silver gloss.

October 25, 1999

Silver One will have its polished aluminum skin covered with silver paint next month to reduce the costs of maintaining the unpainted aircraft.

September 18, 2000

Southwest Airlines dedicates a multi-million dollar tribute to the people of New Mexico by unveiling its tenth specialty aircraft named New Mexico One. The 737-700 carries a depiction of the state's official flag, anchored by the ancient symbol of the Zia Pueblo Indians. Southwest Airlines ranks 11th on The World's Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine.

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2001 to 2004 - Post 9/11, Southwest Recovers


October 08, 2004

Southwest dedicates its newest signature aircraft, "The Spirit of Hope," at a surprise ceremony at Boeing Field in Seattle. The special jet features original overhead bin artwork created by children from Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Western Washington. The overhead bin doors inside the aircraft's cabin are uniquely embossed with brightly-colored crayon drawings of happy hearts, brilliant rainbows, oversized flowers, and smiling faces. "The Spirit of Hope" departed Boeing Field for additional celebrations in DAL, SAT, and PHL. In honor of the 30th birthday of the Ronald McDonald House® program, 30 families from various Ronald McDonald Houses across the southwest flew from Dallas to San Antonio for a vacation to SeaWorld San Antonio. The specialty aircraft joined Southwest's permanent fleet and systemwide schedule on October 11 by making its inaugural public flight from PHL–the birthplace of the first Ronald McDonald House 30 years ago this month.

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2005 to 2007 - Wright WAS Wrong


June 14, 2005

An event is held to unveil Maryland One and show Southwest's "LUV" for the state of Maryland. Southwest begins a petition drive to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn in support of the repeal of the Wright Amendment.

November 04, 2005

In honor of our "official airline" status with the NBA, Southwest unveils its newest specialty plane, Slam Dunk One.

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2008 to 2010 - Revealing the Future


April 14, 2008

"Illinois One" is unveiled. In a ceremony attended by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, at least 500 Employees, and Community supporters. The airplane features a stunning adaptation of the Illinois state flag.

July 15, 2008

On Colleen's last day as Southwest's President, she was honored with a surprise tribute in the lobby of Headquarters. Serenaded by a "customized" Willie Nelson song, she was met by the sound of cowbells, which in her family were rung to celebrate great accomplishments. Gary also dedicated Colleen's special airplane, "Heroine of the Heart" to be a permanent member of Southwest's fleet.

February 11, 2009

At New York's La Guardia Airport, Southwest unveils SI One, featuring a decal wrap of the cover model from the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The wrap is temporary and will be removed in a month.

October 21, 2009

At its annual Media Day, Southwest unveils a "Green Plane" that will serve as a test environment for new environmentally responsible materials and Customer comfort products. All of the initiatives being tested on the Green Plane, when combined, will equate to a weight savings of almost five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions, along with adding recyclable elements to the cabin interior and reducing waste.

April 23, 2010 Southwest Airlines honors the State of Florida with the unveiling of Florida One, a Boeing 737 emblazoned with an artist's rendering of the state flag.  Southwest Airlines' top Leadership celebrated the high-flying tribute to the State of Florida at an event in a Tampa International Airport hangar with National Wildlife Refuge Association President Evan Hirsche, and Southwest's Florida-based Employees.  More than 200 Southwest Airlines Employees and community leaders celebrated the unveiling at Tampa. Following the unveiling event in Tampa, the aircraft began a tour of the airline's Florida cities. At each stop, the airline hosts a celebratory event in the Southwest gate area to display the aircraft to Employees and Customers.

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2011 to Present - One LUV


August 22, 2012

Colorado One, a Boeing 737-700 emblazoned with an artist's rendition of the Colorado state flag is at a ceremony at Denver International Airport (DIA) with more than 500 local Employees and community leaders, along with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and Manager of Aviation for Denver International Airport, Kim Day. The ceremony includes attendees waiving Colorado flags, enjoying locally-made granola snacks, and cheering as Kelly, Governor Hickenlooper, Mayor Hancock, and Day closed the event by christening the aircraft amid fan-fare.

June 20, 2013

Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment celebrate 25 years of partnership with the unveiling of the airline's newest specialty aircraft, Penguin One—a Boeing 737-700 co-branded with images of one of SeaWorld's iconic animals. To celebrate this latest entry into the Southwest fleet with Customers nationwide, the companies launched a special three-day offer on vacation packages, including discounted park tickets and exclusive flight and hotel deals.


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