Southwest Celebrates 50 Years with Special Color Palette and Staff Gift
Southwest Airlines today celebrates the 50e Anniversary of his first flight by thanking Employees by offering 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards® points as a gift.
The country’s largest national carrier also unveiled Freedom One, a Boeing 737-800 with a stylized flag of United States of America.
Presentation, #FreedomOne, a high-level tribute to our nation, our military and our employees. We are proud to celebrate our 50th anniversary today and look to the next 50 years to give America the freedom to fly. # Southwest50 pic.twitter.com/jWKInKbikl
– Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) June 18, 2021
“The word ‘freedom’ has significant meaning for the people and the history of Southwest Airlines,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Airlines.
“We are eternally grateful to those who have served and currently serve in our armed forces, including the more than 7,400 veterans and 1,500 military spouses of our family in the Southwest. Our goal is to connect people to what matters in their lives through user-friendly, reliable and low-cost air travel. We simply could not achieve our goal without the sacrifice and dedication of our military men and women. We appreciate their service and bravery in providing a blanket of freedom to our country. “
Freedom One was unveiled in the southwest® Employees at a corporate celebration at Southwest Airlines® Technical Operations Hangar at William P. Hobby International Airport in Houston, where attendees included military ambassadors from the southwest, a military council, laureates of the prestigious company president’s award and others. Military Ambassadors are employees of the Southwest who are veterans and military spouses. They serve as a resource for the Society to promote the inclusion of veterans and military personnel.
The specialty aircraft features 50 stars and 13 stripes and becomes a high-flying tribute to Southwest Airlines’ 50 years of service with a symbol of unwavering pride in our nation and its heroes. It is the first Boeing 737-800 to join the airline’s unique paint schemes. Other special paint schemes on Southwest Boeing 737-700s include: Arizona One, California A, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Louisiana One, Maryland One, Missouri A, Nevada A, New Mexico A, and Tennessee One.
Before revealing Freedom One, Kelly announced that the airline is providing a gift to employees to recognize and appreciate active employees in the milestone for Southwest Airlines: 50,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points deposited later this year into the account of each employee who chooses to accept the gift.
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“Southwest has revolutionized the travel industry since our very first flight on June 18, 1971, a time when less than 15% of Americans had ever traveled by plane, ”Kelly said at the employee celebration.
“The people of the Southwest have democratized the skies with friendly, reliable and affordable air travel, and what better way to honor you, our employees, on our 50e anniversary that by offering a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points.
The first flights carried out on what was known as Texan triangle, Between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
Over the next fifty years, the airline became the country’s largest national airline, carrying up to 1 in 4 travelers in United States. Today, it operates one of the largest Boeing 737 fleets in the world, serving 121 destinations across North America, employs over 56,000 people and is consistently ranked among the world’s top airlines and best employers.
After the celebration, Freedom One left Houston, heading for Dallas. Pilots and flight attendants on board are employees who have served in the military or in the reserve. Additionally, a military veteran dispatched the flight from the airline’s network operations control facility to Dallas. As the plane approached Dallas, it followed the Federal Aviation Administration’s HERBZ navigation flight path to the airport, recently named in honor of the founder Herb Kelleher.