Alaska Celebrates its New Planes with Another Special Livery
Another day, another special livery.
Alaska Airlines has been repainting its entire fleet, both its own sizable Boeing 737 fleet and the nearly 70 Airbus A320 and A321s it acquired from Virgin America following the merger. In late January, it unveiled the first Airbus ever to be painted in Alaska Airlines colors — one of Virgin's older A320s, after Virgin America officially ceased independent operations. On Friday, Alaska revealed yet another livery, this time on a brand spanking A321neo — the latest version of the European twinjet.
Alaska already has 4 A321neos in operation, still painted in Virgin America colors, and is expected to take delivery of more of them by the end of this year, all from Virgin America's original order, which it kept after it bought the airline.
The aircraft promises better fuel economics and passenger comfort than its Airbus narrow-body predecessors. More likely than not, besides another aircraft or two, the remainder of the planes on order (and those already in the fleet) will be repainted in standard Alaska Airlines colors, instead of this sleek Virgin-Alaska mix. Fleet revitalization won't be stopping here, either. The Seattle-based airline also has 17 Boeing 737 MAX 9s on order, Boeing's most direct competition to the A321, the airplane depicted above. By the way, Alaska took TPG's top spot for best loyalty program.
And if this paint job feels a bit like déjà vu, you aren't mistaken. Back in December 2016, Alaska painted one of its 737-900s in this same special livery as a part of its merger announcement with Virgin America. It's still up for debate who's wearing it better. See here for more images of this special A321neo.
Oh, and the missing engines? Don't worry, those will be added soon.