Alaska Airlines Introduces ‘Starliner 75’ Aircraft to Celebrate Airline’s 75th Anniversary

Alaska Airlines today introduced "Starliner 75," a new 737-800 featuring a 1940s paint scheme, to celebrate the airline's 75th anniversary. The aircraft was unveiled at Seattle-Tacoma...

Alaska Airlines today introduced "Starliner 75," a new 737-800 featuring a 1940s paint scheme, to celebrate the airline’s 75th anniversary. The aircraft was unveiled at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport before making its inaugural flight to Anchorage, Alaska, where the airline was founded in 1932.

Alaska’s "Starliner" livery was introduced in 1945 after the airline changed its name from Alaska Star Airlines to Alaska Airlines. It first appeared on Douglas DC-3s and also was featured on Curtiss C-46s and Douglas DC-4s through the 1950s.

Painted to simulate polished aluminum, Starliner 75 features a blue star on the nose, the original Alaska Airlines logo with an Alaska map and the North Star, and a 75th-anniversary logo on the tail. A 1940s Boeing logo also appears near the nose.

"This aircraft is a testament to our extraordinary employees, whose ‘Alaska Spirit’ has allowed the airline to reach its 75th year in a challenging industry, and to dream about the next 75 years," said Bill Ayer, Alaska Airlines’ chairman and CEO. "Starliner 75 also honors the state of Alaska and Boeing — both exceptional partners in Alaska Airlines’ past and its future."

Mark Jenkins, vice president and general manager of The Boeing Company’s 737 program, hailed the airline for reaching the milestone.

"On behalf of the Boeing men and women who design, build and support the 737, we congratulate Alaska Airlines on its 75th year in business," said Jenkins. "We’re proud to be Alaska’s hometown partner and we thank the airline for choosing to fly Boeing airplanes."

Boeing’s Paint Hangar Four Team in Seattle painted Starliner 75 in four days using 110 gallons of paint. Alaska Airlines employees selected the design from four historic liveries that also included the airline’s 1950s "Blue Thunderbird," early-1960s "Red Thunderbird" and late-1960s "Golden Nugget" designs.

After arriving in Anchorage as Flight 1, the aircraft will continue service to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Starliner 75 is the 18th 737-800 to join Alaska Airlines’ fleet. By the end of 2008, the airline will complete its transition to an all-Boeing 737 fleet by retiring its remaining MD-80s and speeding the acquisition of next-generation, fuel-efficient 737-800s. Once completed, the transition is expected to save more than $115 million annually in operating expenses, primarily by lowering costs for fuel, maintenance, training and crew scheduling.

Alaska Airlines and sister carrier, Horizon Air, together serve 89 cities through an expansive network throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Canada and Mexico. This year Alaska Airlines celebrates its 75th anniversary, marking the airline’s growth from a single-aircraft operation in 1932 to one of the largest U.S. carriers. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at

SOURCE: Alaska Airlines

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