Alaska Airlines fleet gets new look amid continued growth

Alaska Airlines' fleet is getting a new look.

The Seattle-based airline with deep roots in Alaska on Monday unveiled a revamp of its brand, featuring subtle changes to both the design of the airline's name and its iconic Eskimo logo featured on the tail of the company's aircraft.

Alaska Airlines decided to make the changes to its brand -- the first such changes in a quarter century -- as a result of massive growth in the past five years and to make the brand more digitally appealing.

None of the tweaks are huge. The name was designed to be more bold, and the Eskimo face has been smoothed and simplified so it renders better online and on mobile devices. Alaska Airlines also added pops of blue and green around the Eskimo's face and the tail of the aircraft.

One of these newly painted airplanes was revealed to 1,800 employees Monday at the company's hangar in Seattle, and by the end of 2016, 40 Alaska Airlines planes will be painted with the new design. It will take a few years for the entire fleet of 147 Boeing 737 aircraft to reflect the changes.

The company also updated its terminal at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport -- set to be finished Tuesday morning -- and changes at its other terminals will follow. Credit cards and other items that bear the company's name and logo will also be updated.

"We experienced tremendous growth over the past five years," said Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "Particularly as we have new fliers in Nashville, Raleigh, Detroit, Charleston, we wanted to make sure the brand expression reflects who we are on the inside."


Alaska Airlines worked with ad agency Hornall Anderson in Seattle to make the subtle changes, but the airline wouldn't say how much it cost to update the brand.

"It's not meant to be a massive change," said Woerner, referring to the Eskimo specifically. "It's the same person, the same symbol -- but he is bigger, bolder and more impactful."

Alaska Airlines has added 90 markets in the past five years, is launching a host of new routes this year and just finished one of its best years ever financially. Alaska Air Group reported a net income of $191 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with $148 million during the same time period in 2014. For all of 2015, the company netted $848 million, compared to $605 million for 2014.

"This sets us up for future growth," Woerner said.

Annie Zak

Annie Zak was a business reporter for the ADN between 2015 and 2019.