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Livery of the Week: Southwest’s ‘Imua One’

Southwest’s ‘Imua One’ at Dallas Love Field (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Editor’s Note: AirlineGeeks is excited to launch our ‘Livery of the Week’ series. Every Friday, a team member will share an airline livery, which can be from the past, present, or even a special scheme. Some airline liveries are works of art. The complexity associated with painting around critical flight components and the added weight requires outside-the-box thinking from designers. The average airliner can cost upwards of $200,000 to repaint, creating a seperate aircraft repainting industry as a result.

Special liveries are a crafty way for airlines to adorn their aircraft with a visual masterpiece, many of which fall under the marketing cost center. Southwest’s ‘Imua One’ livery is no exception.

‘Imua One’ is the latest addition to the Southwest special livery line-up. It is one of only three special liveries on the carrier’s 737 MAX fleet. Eager planespotters can find the ‘Imua One’ livery on N8710M.

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

An Island Inspiration

During the unveiling of ‘Imua One’ in April 2023, Southwest emphasized its importance in recognizing the Hawaiian community. Following an unveiling ceremony in Long Beach, Calif., the vibrantly-colored 737 MAX visited all of Southwest’s stations in Hawaii.

Designed by an Oahu-based creative firm, the livery features eight elements that represent concepts in Hawaiian culture. The design also has stars for each of the five airports in Hawaii that the carrier serves: Honolulu, Lihue, Maui, Kona, and Hilo. Imua is a rallying cry in the Hawaiian language that “translates to an urging forward, and it underscores a key value at Southwest—Teamwork.”

Southwest describes the detail of Imua One in a press release: “…six turtles in two groups of three to represent harmony and balance. Emblazoned near the nose of the aircraft, a lei honors unique Islands through their official flowers. Reflective of distinctive colors in the Southwest Heart livery, including bold blue, warm red, and sunrise yellow, a gradient transition from blue to yellow represents the evolution from night to day, and honors Hawaiian history of journeying the Pacific using wind, and following the guidance of the sun, stars, and moon to navigate.”

The Dallas-based carrier is no stranger to the special livery space. Per PlaneCaptures, Southwest has over 35 of its 737-series jets painted in different paint jobs, mostly celebrating the various states that the airline serves.

Imua One is undoubtedly a coruscating kaleidoscope of rich designs and colors, highlighting native Hawaiian beauty. This pairs with Southwest’s relatively new service offering to The Aloha State, which started in 2019.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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