Southwest Airlines Unveils Imua One, Hawaii-themed aircraft

On the anniversary of its first interisland flights within Hawaii, commemorates beginning a fifth year of serving the Aloha State by introducing Imua One™, a Hawaii-themed aircraft livery that symbolizes an enduring partnership between the Hawaiian Islands and Southwest Airlines®. The high-flying tribute is dedicated to Southwest® Employees and to communities across Hawaii that welcomed the carrier with warm aloha. Imua is a rallying cry in the Hawaiian language that translates to an urging forward, and it underscores a key value at Southwest—Teamwork. For more than five decades, the People of Southwest have moved together toward an ever-brighter future with their unmistakably unique strength of courage and spirit.

“When we dedicate an airplane, it’s not only a symbol of gratitude, but also of a promise we’ve made,” said Bob Jordan, President & Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. “Hawaii welcomed Southwest with warm aloha, and we approached serving the people of Hawaii with an earnest desire to connect them with important moments, places, and the people who matter most in their lives. We’ve grown since our first arrival on the Islands four years ago, to 90 departures a day, thanks to the support of Island communities. Each flight is filled with—and powered by—an essence of aloha, combined with the Heart of Southwest and our People, all working together and moving forward.”

To access broadcast-qualityfootage, high-res images of Imua One, and photos from today’s event, visit

Oahu-based Osaki Creative Group designed Imua One with the guidance of Herman Piikea Clark, Kanaka Maoli/indigenous Hawaiian artist, designer, and researcher. Its distinctive design features eight elements that represent concepts in Hawaiian culture that also align with Southwest values. The aircraft design features stars for each of the five airports in Hawaii Southwest serves (Honolulu, Lihue (Kauai), Kahului (Maui), Kona (Island of Hawaii), and Hilo (Island of Hawaii); six paddlers in an outrigger bring to life the concept of Imua; and six turtles in two groups of three to represent harmony and balance. Emblazoned near the nose of the aircraft, a lei honors unique Islands through their official flowers. Reflective of distinctive colors in the Southwest Heart livery, including bold blue, warm red, and sunrise yellow, a gradient transition from blue to yellow represents the evolution from night to day, and honors Hawaiian history of journeying the Pacific using wind, and following the guidance of the sun, stars, and moon to navigate.

The eight central visual elements of the Imua One livery hold significance in Hawaii and at Southwest:

  • Ohana (Family):       Root in relationships 
  • Honu (Turtle):           Move with perseverance 
  • Aina (Land):              Find common ground 
  • Ama (Support):         Connect to strengthen and balance 
  • Hoku (Star):              Guide with purpose
  • Kai (Ocean):             Harness good energy
  • Lokahi (Unity):          Succeed with Teamwork 
  • Imua (Forward):       Go forward with strength, courage, and strong spirit

Southwest unveiled Imua One at Long Beach Airport, one of eight mainland gateways where Southwest offers nonstop service to the Islands, facilitating seamless connections to airports across the western two-thirds of the U.S. mainland. Southwest Employees across the country watched through a livestream as Kahu Kordell C. L. Kekoa, a Hawaiian church Minister, led a blessing and dedication of the aircraft, witnessed by Southwest Employees and Customers, many with ties to the rich culture in Hawaii. Before its first touchdown, Imua One traveled from a painting facility in Spokane, Wash., where citizens of the Spokane Tribe of Indians joined Kahu Kekoa in a special ceremony that brought together Washington First Nations and Kanaka Maoli/indigenous Hawaiian people to share a blessing and pay tribute to the launch of Imua One.

Southwest also donated $10,000 to eight organizations in the Islands to underscore a commitment to longtime community partners in Hawaii. These organizations support causes close to the Heart of Southwest and align with elements and themes featured on Imua One:

  • AccesSurf
  • Boys & Girls Club Hawaii
  • Hoola Na Pua
  • Liv. Pregnancy and Women’s Wellness  
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
  • Pacific Whale Foundation
  • UH Institute for Astronomy

Leading up to today’s dedication, Southwest Employees watched a weekly, eight-part video series, “Honoring the Heart of Hawaii,” in which Southwest Employees, known to one another as Cohearts, shared deeper, personal meaning behind the symbols. The Southwest YouTube Channel now features these Employee profiles in the series.

Imua One is the first Southwest aircraft with in-seat power available at every seat. It is the third Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the Southwest fleet of specialty liveries. The other 737 MAX 8 aircraft with special paint schemes include the Herbert D. Kelleher, dedicated to Southwest’s beloved Founder, and the Heroine of the Heart, a tribute to Southwest President Emeritus Colleen C. Barrett. Other special paint schemes in the Southwest fleet dedicated to specific states include: Arizona One, California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Freedom One (flag of the United States of America), Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Louisiana One, Maryland One, Missouri One, Nevada One, New Mexico One, and Tennessee One.

Following a dedication in Long Beach, Calif., Imua One will fly first to Honolulu, and during the weekend will visit each airport in Hawaii served by Southwest. The tour allows Southwest Employees and community members to share in the special tribute. Imua One then will re-join the Southwest fleet and fly throughout the Southwest network on regularly scheduled service.

Since its first service to Hawaii in 2019, Southwest is grateful to have grown to serve five airports in the Aloha State, and to link the Hawaiian Islands to the mainland with nonstop service through eight gateway airports: Long Beach, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Sacramento, San Jose, Calif.; Los Angeles (LAX); San Diego; Las Vegas; and Phoenix. Today, Southwest offers 90 departures a day, including 60 daily flights within the Islands.

Southwest Customers, followers, and fans are invited to track the aircraft (tail number N8710M) and share photos of Imua One on social media using #ImuaOne. Imua One merchandise will be available for purchase beginning May 1, online at Southwest The Store.


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