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On Alaska Airline’s Boeing 737s, just behind the nose, you can read the words “Proudly All Boeing.” For years, the Seattle-based airline has touted its commitment to the American aircraft manufacturer. As of Wednesday, this is no longer true.
Back in 2016, Alaska Airlines announced a merger with Virgin America — an airline that flew an all-Airbus fleet — and the merger is well underway. Virgin America’s Elevate rewards program has already folded into Alaska’s strong Mileage Plan program, and later in 2018, all flights will be booked under and operated by the single Alaska Airlines brand. On Wednesday afternoon, the airline took to Twitter to show off a sight few AvGeeks thought they’d ever see: An Airbus painted in Alaska Airlines’ colors.
There’s a new bird in the sky. pic.twitter.com/A40drdOJIs
— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) January 24, 2018
The paint job — or “livery” — is unsurprisingly similar to its Boeing counterpart, although the airline’s titles appear to be a bit farther forward on the fuselage of the A320. This particular aircraft, N625VA, delivered in 2006 to Virgin America, was flown earlier in January from LAX to Victorville (VCV) to be (we can speculate) the first A320 of the carrier’s 55 to get the new paint.
Alaska will be repainting and refitting Virgin America aircraft throughout 2018 as the two brands become one, and all new Airbus deliveries (including the A321neos that Virgin had on order) will come painted with the Alaska livery.
N625VA has spent 10 days in Victorville to be repainted, and according to flight tracking site Flightradar24, it’s going to San Francisco on Wednesday, presumably to re-enter regular commercial service. You can check back on FR24 to see if it’s coming soon to an airport near you — so keep your eyes peeled for this sneak peek of what’s to come in the American skies.
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