MIAMI — Wednesday morning, Southwest Airlines unveiled Missouri One, which is its tenth state plane in its fleet. The airline has painted the state flag on the aircraft to show its love to the “Show-Me-State.”
“Kansas City and St. Louis have been vital cities in our network for more than 30 years,” Kelly said to an enthusiastic crowd at the unveiling. “I couldn’t think of a better way to ‘show’ our love to our Employees, Customers, and friends in the great state of Missouri than by dedicating this high-flying salute to them!”
“We’ve always valued the enduring partnership between the state of Missouri and Southwest Airlines,” said Governor Jay Nixon. “As a tribute to 30 years of quality service by Southwest and Missouri’s proud aerospace legacy, this magnificent plane will showcase the Show-Me State’s aerospace strength around the world.”
Southwest is a big supporter of the state of Missouri, especially when it comes to education. The airline has donated $5,000 each to Science City at Union Station and the St. Louis Science Center to help support Science City’s Summer Camp, which sparks interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) for children ages 6-12 through interactive, challenging, and fun activities, and contribute toward scholarships for the St. Louis Science Center’s Flight Academy Camp.
The airline has been serving Kansas City since 1982 and St. Louis since 1985.
After the unveiling in Kansas City, N280WN–the former SeaWorld Penguin livery–was off to St. Louis for additional festivities. St. Louis is a very important city for Southwest; in 2009, the airline announced that it would increase service with a “major expansion” by May 2010, and it increased service to 83 daily departures from St. Louis, replacing American (after it de-hubbed) as the carrier with the most daily flights. The airline still continues to grow its presence and operate the most daily flights in and out of St. Louis.
Southwest has been dedicating several of its aircraft to states it has served since it rolled out Lone Star One in November 1990.