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Say Aloha to Imua One, an Aircraft Dedicated to Our Employees and the People of Hawaii


Today, April 28, 2023, is the fourth anniversary of our first interisland flight within Hawaii. As we look forward to our fifth year of service, we want to take a moment to say mahalo to the people in Hawaii who have welcomed us with warm aloha. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Islands, and as a symbol of thanks, we dedicate a high-flying tribute: Imua One.




Imua is a rallying cry in the Hawaiian language that translates to an urging forward, and it underscores a key value at Southwest—Teamwork. And it’s fitting that our aircraft dedicated to our Employees and the Island communities is called Imua One, as this aircraft is a symbol of the partnership between the Hawaiian Islands and Southwest.


Osaki Creative Group, an Oahu-based agency, designed Imua One with the guidance of a Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner. Its distinctive design features eight elements that represent concepts in Hawaiian culture that also align with Southwest values. The aircraft design features stars for each of the five airports in Hawaii Southwest serves: Honolulu, Lihue (Kauai), Kahului (Maui), Kona (Island of Hawaii), and Hilo (Island of Hawaii); six paddlers in an outrigger bring to life the concept of Imua; and six turtles in two groups of three to represent harmony and balance. A lei near the nose of the aircraft honors the unique Islands through their official flowers. And, in keeping with the traditional and distinctive colors in our Southwest Heart livery, including bold blue, warm red, and sunrise yellow, a gradient transition from blue to yellow represents the evolution from night to day and honors the Hawaiian history of journeying the Pacific using wind, and following the guidance of the sun, stars, and moon to navigate.


The eight central visual elements of the Imua One livery hold significance in Hawaii and at Southwest:

  • Ohana (Family):          Root in relationships. 
  • Honu (Turtle):            Move with perseverance. 
  • Aina (Land):                Find common ground. 
  • Ama (Support):          Connect to strengthen and balance. 
  • Hoku (Star):                Guide with purpose. 
  • Kai (Ocean):               Harness good energy. 
  • Lokahi (Unity):           Succeed with Teamwork. 
  • Imua (Forward):         Go forward with strength, courage, and strong spirit. 


Southwest Employees who live and work in Hawaii share deeper, personal meanings behind the visual elements of the aircraft in a video series called “Honoring the Heart of Hawaii.”


  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Imua includes Customer Service Agent in Honolulu Sharon and Maui Station Leader Del, as they share about Imua, a rallying cry in the Hawaiian language that translates to an urging forward and underscores a key value at Southwest—Teamwork.
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Kai spotlights Keanu, a Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent in Kona (Island of Hawaii), as he shares his connection to the ocean as a source of energy, sustenance, and resources.
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Lokahi weaves together the Hawaiian word and cultural tenet Lokahi, or unity, with Southwest values and the Golden Rule and features Jerome, a Customer Service Supervisor in Lihue (Kauai).
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Hoku shines a light on First Officer Kanani and how people in her life have guided her with purpose as she achieves her goals.
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Ama features Kawailani, an Administrative Coordinator at HNL. Aunty Kawai, as she is affectionately known, speaks to how we connect to others for strength and balance.   
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Aina highlights Aina, or land, a powerful tenet of Hawaiian Culture. As HNL Customer Service Agent John shares, each person has a duty to care for the land and steward natural resources.
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Honu focuses on endurance, embodied in Hawaiian Culture through Honu, or turtles. Kaulana, an Assistant Station Manager in OGG, shares his own journey of endurance.
  • Honoring the Heart of Hawaii: Ohana features Shane, a Ramp Agent in OGG who speaks to Ohana, or family, as a foundation of Culture in Hawaii that’s deeply rooted in homes and community.

We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the people of Hawaii over the past four years and look forward to moving together toward an ever-brighter future with strength, courage, and strong spirit. So, together…Imua!