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Starliner 75 Is One Strikingly Beautiful Jet

The Spirit of Alaska

Starliner 75 on takeoff roll in SEA. Photo by Joe Vaeth

If you’re holding short in Seattle or flying through the Pacific Northwest or Alaska then you may see this Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800. It has even been spotted as far south as Hawaii. “Starliner 75” was unveiled in 2007 to celebrate Alaska Airlines’ 75th anniversary. It’s vintage paint job is from the 1940’s and the aircraft made its inaugural flight was from Seattle to Anchorage.

The design for “Starliner 75” was selected by the Alaska Airlines employees by popular vote from a listing of four other historical liveries. These included the 1950s Blue Thunderbird, early 1960s Red Thunderbird & late 1960s Golden Nugget designs.

A good vintage
The livery was orginally introduced in 1945 when Alaska Star Airlines changed its name to Alaska Airlines. The 2007 paint job features an original Alaska Airlines logo, map of Alaska with the North Star, 75th anniversary logo on the tail, 1940s Boeing logo – near nose, and blue star prominently displayed on her nose.

Aviation Pioneers on America’s Last Frontier
Alaska Airlines grew from a single aircraft operation in 1932 originally providing charter service between Anchorage and Bristol Bay known as Mc Gee Airways. This operation was one of the first commercial outfits to make use of 2-way radios to monitor weather conditions and optimize loads. In 1935 the two bush operators Star Air Service and Mc Gee Airways merged and took the name Star Air Lines. After the merger the aircraft all started sporting a bright white star on the fuselage. The airline would later beat out a competitor by name of Art Woodley over a matter of $15 to claim the name Alaska Airlines. Woodley’s attorney neglected to include a check to cover the $15 filing fee and the rest is now history. Star Air Service incorporated under the name Alaska Airlines in 1944.

Alaska Airlines has grown from a single aircraft operation in 1932 to be the fifth largest U.S. carrier, serving 118 destinations.  They recently acquired Virgin America.



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Joe Vaeth

Written by Joe Vaeth

Joe Vaeth is a life-long fan of all things aviation. Currently an airline pilot, his background includes over 10 years of flying C-130s for the U.S. Air Force and glider flying along the front range of the Colorado Rockies. He resides in Southern California with his wife and three children and has recently taken up cider brewing. He also enjoys, bike riding, kite flying & aerial photography.

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