Alaska Airlines Introduces Aircraft Celebrating Washington's Major Universities
Alaska Airlines has unveiled two new aircraft, each dedicated to one of Washington state's premier universities. These additions to the fleet underscore the airline's ongoing commitment to the state and its educational institutions.
The airline has introduced aircraft themed after Washington State University (WSU) and the University of Washington (UW). The E175 "Go Cougs" aircraft, representing WSU, is scheduled to make its inaugural flight on September 23, flying from Seattle (SEA) to Pullman (PUW) ahead of WSU's game against the Oregon State Beavers. Meanwhile, the "Go Dawgs" aircraft, dedicated to UW, will commence its journey on October 3, ferrying fans from Seattle (SEA) to Portland (PDX).Advertising
WSU President Kirk Schulz expressed his appreciation for the "Go Cougs" aircraft, highlighting the longstanding partnership between WSU and Alaska Airlines. He emphasized the airline's support for WSU's educational and research endeavors, particularly in sustainable aviation fuels. Schulz believes that their combined efforts will significantly influence the future of air travel on various scales.
On the other hand, Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, spoke about the shared values between UW and Alaska Airlines. She expressed her excitement over the unveiling of the "Go Dawgs" aircraft, emphasizing the airline's contributions to the local economy and its global connections as a member of the oneworld Alliance.
These newly themed aircraft are not the first of their kind. They mark the third iteration of special aircraft dedicated to these universities. Operated by Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines' regional affiliate, these aircraft allow fans and alumni to showcase their school pride throughout the year.
Joe Sprague, Horizon Air president, mentioned the airline's history of university-themed liveries, noting the enthusiasm they generate among local fans. He also highlighted Alaska Airlines' commitment to education and its expanded support for WSU.
Alaska Airlines has further solidified its relationship with WSU by becoming the official airline partner of WSU Athletics for the 2023-2024 academic year. This partnership will feature special gameday giveaways, including sweepstakes for tickets and air travel to the 2023 Apple Cup.
The airline's commitment to sustainability is evident in its collaboration with WSU on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initiatives. Their joint efforts have led to significant milestones, including Alaska Airlines' historic flight powered by SAF derived from forest residuals.Advertising
In addition to WSU, Alaska Airlines has maintained a strong partnership with the University of Washington since 2016. This collaboration spans various sectors of the university, from athletics to business education.
The introduction of these university-themed aircraft coincides with Alaska Airlines' transition to an all-jet fleet of modern Embraer E175 aircraft, operated by Horizon Air. These jets offer a range of benefits, including three classes of service, no middle seats, quieter flights, inflight entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, larger overhead bins, and faster speeds compared to the Q400 turboprop.Advertising
In conclusion, Alaska Airlines continues to strengthen its ties with Washington state and its educational institutions, emphasizing its commitment to community, education, and sustainability.