Southwest made its first flights out of Kansas City back in 1982 with six daily departures to two cities. Fast forward 30 years and the airline now serves 60 destinations and 156 departures originating from Missouri. To commemorate the anniversary, this Boeing was emblazoned with a painting of the Missouri state flag.
Unveiled at a ceremony at Kansas City’s Aviation Technical Services, this Boeing 737-700 is a high-flying representation of the Missouri state flag, prominently featuring the Great Seal of Missouri. The seal features two grizzly bears embracing the motto “United We Stand.” The engine cowlings incorporate the center elements of the shield, including a crescent moon, a grizzly bear, and an eagle from the United States coat-of-arms.
The Missouri One is the newest addition to a fleet of artistically designed liveries commemorating the airline’s long standing partnership with specific states. The Arizona One was first commissioned in 1994 and was soon followed by California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Maryland One, Nevada One, and New Mexico One.
To accomplish this vibrant new paint scheme, a 45-person team worked 24 hours a day for nearly 10 days. Ten different dramatic colors and 56 gallons of paint were applied to the fuselage, wings and tail to create the one-of-a-kind work of art. The two grizzly bears stand more than 15 feet tall and 9 feet long.
Combined operations at the Kansas City International Airport and Lambert International Airport represents the 9th largest state in the Southwest network in terms of daily departures. Together, Southwest employs more than 550 people in Missouri.
Photo: Southwest Airlines