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Southwest Airlines Unveils ‘Freedom One’ Livery to Mark 50th Anniversary

To mark their 50th anniversary, Southwest Airlines has revealed a bespoke new livery called ‘Freedom One’ in tribute to the nation, military and the airline’s over 50,000 employees. The Boeing 737-800 has been emblazoned with a stylized U.S. flag.

Introducing Freedom One | Photo Credit: Stephen Keller / Southwest Airlines

On Friday (June 18, 2021), Southwest Airlines marked their 50th anniversary by unveiling a unique livery design and gifting 50,000 Southwest Reward Points® to each of the carrier’s over 50,000 employees. The bespoke ‘Freedom One’ livery includes a stylized flag of the United States of America, which has been emblazoned on one of the airline’s Boeing 737-800s, in tribute to the nation, military and the airline’s employees. Freedom One was unveiled to Southwest employees during a 50th anniversary celebration at the airline’s Technical Operations Hangar at William P. Hobby International Airport in Houston.

In Friday’s announcement, Southwest Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Kelly, said,

“The word ‘freedom' has significant meaning to the People and history of Southwest Airlines. We're eternally grateful to those who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces—including the more than 7,400 veterans and 1,500 military spouses in our Southwest Family. Our Purpose is to connect People to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. We simply couldn't fulfill our Purpose if not for the sacrifices and dedication of our military men and women. We appreciate their service and bravery in providing a blanket of freedom for our country.”

Freedom One features 50 stars and 13 stripes as a tribute of the airline’s 50 years of flying, while serving as a symbol of Southwest’s unwavering pride in our nation and its heroes. The aircraft is the first 737-800 to feature a special paint scheme, joining a fleet of 737-700s with special liveries including Arizona One, California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (TX), Louisiana One, Maryland One, Missouri One, Nevada One, New Mexico One and Tennessee One.

Introducing Freedom One | Photo Credits: Stephen Keller / Southwest Airlines

Before unveiling Freedom One, Mr. Kelly announced that each Southwest employee would be receiving a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points deposited later this year into the account each employee, for those who accept the gift. Revealing the generous gift, Mr. Kelly stated,

“Southwest revolutionized the travel industry since our very first flight on June 18, 1971—a time when less than 15% of Americans ever had traveled by air. The People of Southwest democratized the skies with friendly, reliable, and affordable air travel, and what better way to honor you, our Employees, on our 50th Anniversary than by offering a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points.”

Following the employee celebration Freedom One departed Houston for Dallas with a full crew of military veterans. Additionally, the aircraft was dispatched by a military veteran from Southwest’s Network Operations Control facility in Dallas. On approach to Dallas, Freedom One followed the FAA’s HERBZ navigational flight path to the airport, recently named in honor of Southwest Airlines’ Founder, Herb Kelleher.

Celebrating their 50th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has distinguished itself by offering exemplary customer service delivered by over 56,000 team members. Southwest offers a robust point-to-point network with a strong presence across leisure and business markets. In 2019, the carrier served 130 million passengers. During peak travel seasons, the airline operates more than 4,000 daily departures to 101 destinations across the U.S. and 10 additional countries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, based on the number of originating passengers boarded, Southwest has been the largest U.S. domestic carrier since 2003.

Source: Southwest Airlines


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