Southwest Airlines has unveiled a new fleet-wide livery, corporate logo and airport experience, at a Dallas Love Field event dedicated to its 46,000 employees.
The airline calls its new look and livery ‘Heart’ and Southwest Airlines has named the first aircraft to feature the new livery and logo ‘HeartOne’.
“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our people,” says Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chairman, president, and chief executive officer.
“The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future,” adds Kelly.
During 2014 Southwest Airlines has started serving international destinations; the Wright Amendment ‒ which covers the destinations which are allowed to be served from Dallas Love Field, where Southwest is headquartered ‒ is being repealed; ‒ and the integration of AirTran Airways operations into Southwest is due to be completed.
Using an all-Boeing 737 fleet that is the largest single-aircraft-family fleet operated by any airline in the world, Southwest now serves more than 90 destinations. In 2014 it is expanding its footprint substantially in big U.S. destination markets such as New York City and Washington, D.C.
“With all these exciting changes happening, we thought it was time for a new visual expression of our brand—one that marries our past to our present and sets the course for where we’re headed in the future,” Kelly said.
Southwest Airlines’ new look introduces a new livery design; a new Southwest logo; newly designed in-flight materials and a redesigned in-flight magazine; an advertising campaign that promotes the airline’s corporate personality; and a revamped experience both online and at its airport locations.
In addition, the airline will introduce a refresh to its “DING!” mnemonic.
To accomplish the make-over, Southwest collaborated with advertising and branding partners GSD&M, Lippincott, VML, Razorfish and Camelot Communications.
“The job wasn’t to change who we are,” says Kevin Krone, Southwest’s vice president and chief marketing officer. “We already know who we are. The job was to keep the elements of Southwest that our employees and customers love, and to make them a bold, modern expression of our future.”
Southwest Airlines and its partners performed comprehensive research and held numerous focus groups with employees and customers to determine how best to create the new look.
From these focus groups he airline heard that it was important to remain unique and to retain its personality; for these reasons, Southwest continues to use the color palette and striped tail that has long identified the carrier, while adding a modern touch by displaying the Southwest name on the side of the fuselage and presenting the Heart on the aircraft’s belly.
Southwest has had several different liveries and logos throughout its 43-year history. Its first aircraft livery paired an orange-and-red-striped lower fuselage with an upper fuselage painted in a distinctive and attractive olive-khaki color.
However, Southwest eventually replaced this upper-fuselage color with a blander, sand-colored upper fuselage color. Then, in the early years of the 21st century, the airline adopted the first version of its new bright blue, red and yellow color scheme.
As with the earlier versions of the airline’s livery, this initial version of the airline’s modern-day color scheme featured the name ‘Southwest’ in orange along the leading edge of the aircraft’s vertical stabilizer.
Also, while this first version of the airline’s modern-day livery featured narrow yellow stripes similar in color to the yellow it has adopted as one of the three main colors of its brand-new livery, the third stripe on the aircraft’s tail and lower fuselage was orange rather than bright yellow.
According to Southwest, before deciding to go ahead with the new redesign it assessed the cost impact of the exercise. It aims for the redesign exercise to remain cost-neutral by using a phased roll-out.
Aircraft will receive the newly painted livery within the aircraft’s existing repainting schedule, while new aircraft will be delivered painted in the new Heart livery.
In addition, many of Southwest’s future airport-facility conversions will be integrated into its existing and upcoming airport-improvement projects.
Southwest notes that because it is taking a cost-conscious approach to the conversion of aircraft and airport facilities to the new corporate design and logo, it might be some time before customers and employees see the new design in person.
In the meantime, customers can take a closer look at Southwest’s new livery, logo, and airport experience by visiting www.Southwest.com/Heart.