Alaska Airlines Introduces ‘Spirit of Make-A-Wish®’ Aircraft to Help Make Wishes Come True for Children With Life-Threatening Medical Conditions

A giant blue Genie emerged in Seattle today -- not from a golden lamp, but on the side of a brightly painted aircraft -- to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions....

A giant blue Genie emerged in Seattle today — not from a golden lamp, but on the side of a brightly painted aircraft — to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Alaska Airlines this morning introduced its "Spirit of Make-A-Wish" aircraft, adorned with the image of the wish-granting Genie from Disney’s "Aladdin" and the Make-A-Wish-Foundation® logo, to a group of eager Make-A-Wish children at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The uniquely painted Boeing 737-400 celebrates the long-term partnership between the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Alaska Airlines and Disneyland Resorts to make wishes come true for sick children.

"We are extremely excited about the debut of the ‘Spirit of Make-A-Wish’ aircraft because it really symbolizes the hope, strength and joy that we bring to courageous children every day," said David Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. "We appreciate the generosity of Alaska Airlines and Disney in collaborating on this aircraft and helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation show its spirit in a magical way."

The "Spirit of Make-A-Wish" aircraft was welcomed to the gate by six Make-A-Wish children who are on their way to the Disneyland Resort to have their wishes granted. The aircraft also was welcomed by the children’s families, Disney’s Genie character, and leaders from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Disneyland Resorts and Alaska Airlines, as travelers looked on from the terminal.

"We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to help make children’s wishes come true, especially at a time when they face health challenges," said Bill Ayer, Alaska’s chairman and chief executive officer. "We applaud the special work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and hope this unique aircraft will inspire further support for the important task of bringing joy to a child’s life during a difficult time."

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the aircraft departed for Orange County, Calif. The special children on board, who live in Oregon and Washington and range in age from 3 to 5 years, will spend the next three days at the Disneyland Resort along with their families. During their visit, they will be treated to special activities, including taking part in "dream experiences" of the resort’s "Year of a Million Dreams" celebration.

"Disneyland was built upon the notion that dreams can come true," explained Claire Bilby, senior vice president of the Disneyland Resort. "Our involvement with Make-A-Wish and Alaska Airlines allows us to provide fun, dream-filled memories for children and their families during some difficult times. We are delighted to be a part of this program."

Disney helps the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant more than 5,000 wishes annually, making a trip to a Disney Park the most frequent wish requested by Make-A-Wish children.

Alaska Airlines has supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation for 20 years and provides air transportation allowing about 100 children’s wishes to be granted each year. The airline invites members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan to donate frequent-flier miles to the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Charity Miles program. To make a donation of miles, visit and click on the "Mileage Plan" and "Charity Miles" links.

This is the third 737-400 Disney-themed aircraft in Alaska Airlines’ fleet. The airline introduced the "Spirit of Disneyland," graced with the faces of Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy, in 2002. Alaska debuted the "Magic of Disneyland," featuring Tinker Bell and golden Mickey Mouse ears, in 2005 in celebration of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life- threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 69 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants more than 12,500 wishes a year and has granted more than 141,000 wishes in the United States since inception. For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve 89 cities through an expansive network throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at .

Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort includes the Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks, three hotels with a total of 2,238 rooms and the 310,000-square-foot Downtown Disney retail, restaurant and entertainment district. For more information, please visit .

NOTE TO TELEVISION MEDIA: B-roll feeds will be available for television
downlink today at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific time. The two feeds will include
b-roll of the aircraft arrival, Make-A-Wish passengers during the flight and
activities at the Disneyland Resort. Coordinates IA 6C, Transponder 5,
Frequency 3800 MHz. For technical assistance during feed, call 781-7599.
NOTE TO PRINT MEDIA: For high-resolution photographs of the "Spirit of
Make-A-Wish" aircraft, visit Alaska Airlines’ online newsroom at, and then click on "Image Gallery." Images will be
available shortly following morning event.
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

SOURCE: Alaska Airlines

CONTACT: Brent Goodrich of Make-A-Wish Foundation, +1-602-279-9474; or
Amanda Tobin Bielawski of Alaska Airlines, +1-206-392-5134; or Bradley
Crawford of Disneyland Resort, +1-714-781-1057