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Southwest Airlines had planned to make a big splash today when announcing its new look for planes, its website, and all other outward signs of its brands.
But over the weekend the enterprising aviation bloggers at DFW Tower began sharing images on Twitter that were leaked out of a Dallas, TX-area hangar that showed one of the airline’s aircraft painted in a new blue, yellow, and red combination and with a new logo.
This morning Southwest released its new website ahead of the big airborne reveal, going with the new logo and color scheme on its homepage, but not offering any glimpses of the planes beyond the undercarriage of a Boeing 737.
At 9am, Dallas time, Southwest pulled the curtains off the planes, confirming the weekend leak and shedding the look that had adorned its planes since 2001. Included in the livery is a new “heart” logo that emphasizes the airline’s “LUV” theme. It appears on the bottom of the airline’s Boeing jets.
Southwest launched a promotional website focused on the concept of “heart” to correspond with the rebrand.
“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”
Southwest plans to have 60 aircraft painted by the end of the year, and will paint other planes over the next few years. The airline has already rebranded its gates at Dallas-Love Field, and will update other airport branding by 2016.
The airline also released a series of videos on YouTube to explain the process.
In related news, Frontier Airlines is expected to roll out its own new branding this week as well.