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Alaska Airlines Debuts New Salmon-Themed Livery

Alaska’s newest special livery (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

On Thursday, Alaska Airlines unveiled a new special livery in Anchorage, Alaska. The ETOPS-certified Boeing 737-800 registered as N559AS, previously known as “Salmon Thirty Salmon II,” has been repainted into a livery encompassing Native Alaskan heritage in a new salmon-themed livery. 

In April, the aircraft operated its last flight in its previous livery leaving the public unknown if another special salmon livery would be seen. Emerging a little under a month after its last flight, the aircraft rolled out sporting its new livery in Amarillo, Texas, and flew to Anchorage on May 9 according to Flightradar24

Alaska’s original special Salmon livery (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

The livery was designed by Alaska native, Crystal Kaakeeyáa Rose Demientieff Worl. The flying work of art features multiple salmons on the tail and fuselage with a blue background. The livery has significant cultural importance to her and her ancestors stating in a press release from the carrier, “It feels good to say that I live in Juneau and fish and hunt here and eat off this land. My family’s been here for a long time, and I can say my ancestors are from here, and I’m eating the same food in the same place that they once were, and that’s really special to be able to share that and say that and feel that—and to create and retell their stories through my eyes. It’s powerful.” 

While Crystal designed the aircraft, the livery will have significant importance not only to her but also to Native Alaskans. Emily Edenshaw, President and CEO of Alaska Native Heritage Center, believes that the livery will do more than catch the attention of those that see the aircraft pass by. In a statement included in the Alaska Airlines press release, she mentions “Alaska has always been, and will always be, a Native place with deep, rich cultural heritages. For too long, Alaska has been viewed primarily through a geographical lens, when it is the many Indigenous cultures and peoples that truly make our state unique. We honor and appreciate Alaska Airlines’ commitment to ensuring that from the moment someone sets foot on this airplane, they will have an opportunity to learn about Alaska’s First Peoples, who have inhabited Alaska since time immemorial.” 

The aircraft’s name is Xáat Kwáani which translated to English as Salmon People. According to the carrier, this is the first aircraft in the United States to be named in an Alaska Native language. 

Xáat Kwáani is the first aircraft named in an Alaska Native language in the United States. (Photo: Ingrid Barrentine | Alaska Airlines)

Other Special Liveries

The new livery will join other environmentally themed liveries already in Alaska’s fleet. The carrier is currently flying a 737-900 in a partnership with Boeing outfitted as an ecoDemonstrator, testing out new technologies that will lower emissions and future environmental impact. This aircraft has a mountain landscape design. 

Alaska’s ecoDemonstrator 737-900 aircraft. (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

Another wildlife-themed livery can be seen on one of the carrier’s Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft. Dubbed West Coast Wonders, the livery features Orca whales swimming and according to Alaska “honors the shores we call home and the natural life of the Pacific Ocean and West Coast waters.”

Alaska’s “West Coast Wonders” Orca-themed 737 on approach. (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

The aircraft will re-enter service on May 12, beginning where the previous livery left off. Operating Flight 62, Xáat Kwáani will fly down the Alaskan coast from Anchorage making stops in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan before finishing out the flight number in Seattle. Rejoining the fleet of over 200 Boeing 737s, the aircraft will fly throughout Alaska’s network sharing Crystal’s artwork and the cultural significance behind it across North America. 

Zach Cooke

Author

  • Zach Cooke

    Zach’s love for aviation began when he was in elementary school with a flight sim and model planes. This passion for being in the air only intensified throughout high school when he earned his Private Pilot Certificate. He then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his certificates and ratings to later flight instruct and share his passion for aviation with others. He now resides in the North East living out his dream as an airline pilot.

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