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Southwest Airlines

Southwest is close behind Delta as the most frequent visitor to New Orleans International, but right now it may have become the number one visitor. Southwest only flys 737's, but look at the surprise shot I have from Southwest's first days of operation. I bet you can win some bets with this one, a 727. Southwest is one of the only airliners in the New Orleans area that provides a little variety to their paint schemes as evident on this page.
Last updated 8/04/2002

This is a rare photo and you can probably win some bets with it. The fresh gold paint is gleaming from the late afternoon sunlight on this freshly painted Southwest "727". Yes, Southwest actually had some 727's in the fleet right in the beginning other than the generic 737's most commonly seen today.

Southwest has several of their 737's painted into special paint schemes to advertise various destinations that they fly to. This flag scheme promotes travel to Texas, their homebase. This shot was taken from the parking lot at Houston's Hobby Airport and hub for the airline.

I did not know Southwest had this scheme that is named Nevada One for the state of Nevada. Just shot it at BWI in Baltimore/Washington area on August 24, 2000 at about 7pm through the black glass, overcast and all. I was surprised it came out so well.

This freshly painted Southwest 737 in the 30th anniversary colors approaches BWI for a landing. Someone said this was the new paint scheme for Southwest, but the Southwest website identifies it as the 30th anniversary colors.

This super clean 737 is making it's final approach to New Orleans International Airport. The most current Southwest paint scheme has a heart applied to the fuselage identifying Southwest's number one status on the most "On Time" arrival. This emblem was started in 1997 per a pilot for Southwest Airlines and I'm sure the heart symbol goes back to the "Love Airline" name from the start-up days. Thanks for the information.

Only three of Southwest's fleet of 737's are painted up as Shamu the "killer" whale as seen here on this 737 making it's final to the north/south runway at New Orleans International Airport.

Here's an example of how it is in most parts of the country - the top scene with the Kenner police making a raid on some aircraft enthusist (me) for taking pictures of aircraft. Even after explaining I was only taking pictures from a dead-end public street, the cops continued to detain me for about 45 minutes.

On the other hand, aircraft enthusists are welcomed in the Baltimore/Washington (BWI) International airport area as evident by the sign at the Thomas A. Dixon, Jr Aircraft Observation Area. The free parking is set up by BWI for aircraft enthusists to watch and "photograph" planes. The park is also the start of an 18 mile bike and hiking trail, and a playground for the kids. Perhaps New Orleans (Kenner) can come up with some area for the public to view aircraft activities. I would suggest a good place for something similiar would be along the roadway along the N/S runway.

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