Sky Talk

No. 2 Southwest unveils a new heart


Southwest Airlines decided it was time for a makeover.

The Dallas-based airline unveiled a new aircraft livery and new corporate heart logo in September, giving Southwest its third look in its 43-year history. Gone were orange and the red bellied aircraft in favor of a bright blue-dominated color scheme that included a large monotype “Southwest” on the side of the plane.

"It's not a new Southwest; it's an evolved Southwest,” chief executive Gary Kelly said after revealing the new paint job and logo at an employee event at Dallas Love Field.

With the multi-colored heart logo that is also emblazoned on the belly of the aircraft, Southwest executives said they hope the logo becomes synonmous with Southwest just like the apple is for Apple and the circle within a circle is for Target.

The makeover included new uniforms and new signage at airports. Workers changed Southwest’s ticket area at Dallas Love Field overnight for the announcement.

Some industry experts questioned the timing of Southwest’s livery change as the carrier had introduced the Canyon Blue livery a little more than a decade ago. And with Southwest painting planes only as they are normally scheduled for a new paint job, it will take up to seven years for the entire fleet to get the new look.

“Wonder Bread,” one analyst called the bold primary color livery.

Kelly, though disagreed.

“I love the vibrancy of the colors,” Kelly said. “I think it's something that can last for a long time.”