Southwest Airlines reveals special one-off 'very American' plane livery

Some countries like to spray their airplanes in national pride from nose to tail, New Zealand very much included.

It wasn't that long ago that our 'All Black' aircraft was making headlines around the world.

But the latest aircraft paint job paying respects to its country of origin hasn't gone down so well.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary of flying, US airline Southwest has unveiled 'Freedom One', a Boeing 737-800 emblazoned with a stylised US flag.

The word "freedom" is said to link back to US military forces, with the airline boasting it has more than 7400 veterans and 1500 military spouses working for it. 

Southwest Airlines reveals special one-off 'very American' plane livery
Photo credit: Southwest Airlines

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines' Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, said the special aircraft livery wasn't the only way the company was thanking its staff, with each employee receiving 50,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points.

"Southwest revolutionised the travel industry since our very first flight on June 18, 1971 - a time when less than 15 percent of Americans had ever traveled by air," Kelly said. 

"The People of Southwest democratised the skies with friendly, reliable, and affordable air travel, and what better way to honor you, our Employees, on our 50th Anniversary than by offering a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points."

The special plane features 50 stars and 13 stripes and is the latest in around a dozen patriotic paint jobs commissioned by the airline. With state based artwork based on states such as Arizona, California, Colorado and Florida also in the air.