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California One: A “Bear” Necessity




Over 21 years ago, Southwest Airlines revealed a “Golden” member of the -300 series—California One. The $30 million tribute to the Golden State, decorated with a bright red star and giant bear, was unveiled on August 11, 1995.



With the help of a live brown bear named Brandy, 2,700 happy West Coast Employees, six devoted painters, and 300 pounds of paint, California One took to the skies! The aircraft began its legendary CALIFORNIA ONE TOUR ’95 at Sacramento, and made stops in each California city—LAX, SJC, SAN, SFO, OAK, BUR, and ONT; however, the memorable tour did not include SNA due to slot allocation.


On Thursday, the original California One is tentatively scheduled for its final day of revenue service.  In addition, aircraft 943 (a 737-700 series) has been repainted as our new California One, and will also began service.  The new specialty aircraft will continue serving the West Coast.

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