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Photos: Southwest Debuts New Hawaiian-themed Special Livery

Southwest Airlines’ new Imua One on display at Long Beach Airport. (Photo: Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Airlines announced a new special livery on Friday. The carrier painted an ETOPS-certified Boeing 737 MAX – registered N8710M – in a Hawaiian-themed design, dubbed Imua One, to celebrate its four-year anniversary of Southwest’s first inter-island flight in Hawaii.

The design centers around eight elements that “represent concepts in Hawaiian culture that also align with Southwest values,” Southwest said in a press release.

The concepts of Ohana (family), Honu (turtle), Aina (land), Ama (support), Hoku (star), Kai (ocean), Lokahi (unity), and Imua (forward) are all represented. These concepts are represented by symbols overlaid on a color gradient meant to evoke a sunset.

Iuma One waits in the paint hanger before departing Spokane. (Photo: Stephen M. Keller | Southwest Airlines)

Southwest also painted a lei near the nose of the aircraft with unique flowers representing each Hawaiian island that Southwest flies to. There are also five stars painted on the aircraft, representing each airport that Southwest flies to, including Honolulu, Lihue, Kahului, Kona, and Hilo.

“Imua, that means go forward with strength and courage and spirit,” said Southwest CEO and President Bob Jordan stated in a press release. “To me that’s what Southwest Airlines stands for. It’s a rally cry that unites a team in moving forward to a common goal, unified with direction.”

Southwest is also launching a video series with the aircraft called “Honoring the Heart of Hawaii” to highlight each of the values represented by Imua One.

Southwest’s Other Liveries

Imua One is Southwest’s 14th state-inspired aircraft. Other Southwest planes are painted in designs inspired by states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Colorado, and Maryland. The company also has an aircraft called Freedom One, which wears a design based on the American flag.

Yet while Imua One is not the first state-inspired plane in Southwest’s fleet, it is the first that does not bear a state’s flag as its design. Rather, the plane incorporates various aspects of Hawaiian culture together into a new design. These concepts are largely conceptual and abstract.

Southwest held a special commemoration at Long Beach Airport before Iuma One continued to Honolulu. (Photo: Southwest Airlines)

Iuma is the third 737 MAX that bears a special livery at Southwest. Two others honor Herb Kelleher, the company’s founder, and Colleen Barrett, the President Emeritus.

Iuma One spent about 3.5 weeks in Spokane, Washington being repainted with the design. It flew to Long Beach, Calif., where a celebration was held to honor the anniversary. The aircraft then continued on to Hawaii.

Other Aircraft Upgrades

Imua One isn’t drawing heads just for its paint job. It is also the first aircraft in Southwest’s fleet to feature a new cabin design centered around larger overhead bins, faster Wi-Fi, and power ports at every seat. This redesign was announced in May 2022 and will see Southwest spending $2 billion over 5 years to upgrade its entire fleet, starting with the 737 MAX sub fleet. 250 of the airline’s 700 aircraft will be retrofitted by the end of 2023, CNBC reports.

John McDermott

Author

  • John McDermott

    John McDermott is a student at Northwestern University. He is also a student pilot with hopes of flying for the airlines. A self-proclaimed "avgeek," John will rave about aviation at length to whoever will listen, and he is keen to call out any airplane he sees, whether or not anyone around him cares about flying at all. John previously worked as a Journalist and Editor-In-Chief at Aeronautics Online Aviation News and Media. In his spare time, John enjoys running, photography, and watching planes approach Chicago O'Hare from over Lake Michigan.

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