Alaska Airlines has unveiled its newest aircraft paint theme, designed by an Alaska Native artist, that it says honors salmon, culture, artistic expression, and language.
Artist Crystal Kaakeeyáa Rose Demientieff Worl designed “Xáat Kwáani.” It means “Salmon People” in the Alaskan Tlingit language.
“Every time I looked at an Alaska plane, I couldn’t help but visualize the salmon being in formline, or having some sort of design that represents identity. I can’t help but look at things and see how to Indigenize them,” Worl said in a statement. “I have high hopes this project will encourage people to learn and embrace Indigenous culture and values.”
The 737-800 makes its first flight on Friday. It will travel from Anchorage to Seattle with stops in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.
Alaska Airlines says it’s the first aircraft of any U.S. airline fleet to have the name of the plane in an Alaska Native language.
More facts from Alaska Airlines:
- It took 117 gallons of paint to complete the paint job.
- Four main colors were used were Midnight Blue, Atlas Blue, White and Pink.
- It took just 12 days to paint.
- The design will fly for a number of years through a paint system that applies a protective clear coat over the base coats. This protective coating will keep it looking fresh for many years.