If you are like me (and hopefully, for your sake, you aren't!), your mother was always telling you "Eat your liver; it will give you the iron you need." Gee Mom, I thought, why can't I just eat a pail of rusty nails because they would taste better. Well, an airplane's color scheme is called a livery. For our first 30 years, we kept the same basic livery (thank goodness, he finally tied "livery" into this), and I admit that we got a few disparaging letters about our choice of colors. Then, to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2001, we introduced our new standard Canyon Blue livery. From that point on, all new aircraft, except for our "one-off" (the Anglophiles among you are probably gobsmacked that I used a British phrase) specialty aircraft, have been delivered in the Canyon Blue livery, and we began a gradual campaign to repaint our existing aircraft in the new colors. That process has come a long way, and it is rare to see an aircraft in the original colors.
However, one of the things that sets Southwest apart from the "other guys" is our sense of history and our continuity of Corporate Culture. We wanted a way for our aircraft to illustrate that, and we will be keeping three aircraft in the original livery. Why three? This trio will represent our original three cities, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, and we are calling this "new" old livery the SOUTHWEST Classic. All three aircraft will be 737-700s, and N714CB and N792SW will be two of the aircraft. (The "CB" in N714CB's registration refers to our President and Culture "Guardian," Colleen Barrett. N792SW was the last aircraft delivered new in the old livery.) The other Classic aircraft (N711HK) has a name attached to it, The Herbert D. Kelleher, and it marks the third airplane to have carried the name of our Cofounder and Executive Chairman.
You probably have seen some of our specialty liveries, and they always are a hit with aviation buffs, and the two newest specialty airplanes are Maryland One that features the colorful, and a bit unusual Maryland flag, and Slam Dunk One that celebrates our partnership with the National Basketball Association. Slam Dunk One featutes an incredibly three-dimensional basketball painted on the fuselage. All of our liveries come from the wonderfully creative folks at our advertising agency, GSD&M. Most of us never know when the next specialty aircraft will be delivered, but I promise to let everyone know the details when they are public.