Southwest Airlines Unveils High-Flying Tribute To New Mexico

"New Mexico One" is Airline's Latest Specialty Aircraft

ALBUQUERQUE—Sept. 18, 2000—Southwest Airlines today dedicated a multi-million dollar tribute to the people of New Mexico by unveiling its tenth specialty aircraft named "New Mexico One." The 737-700 carries a depiction of the state's official flag, anchored by the ancient symbol of the Zia Pueblo Indians. The host of today's event - Ron Ricks, Southwest's vice president of governmental affairs - welcomed New Mexico's First Lady and the Governor of the Zia Pueblo who both spoke during the ceremony.

"Today is a testament to the genuine affection Southwest Airlines has for its New Mexico Employees and Customers," Ricks said. "They have contributed so much over the past 20 years and are directly responsible for our incredible growth here."

Since initiating service to New Mexico at the Albuquerque International Sunport in 1980, Southwest Airlines has grown from three to 60 daily departures supported by more than 800 Employees. Southwest recently announced it will grow even more with an additional flight to San Diego and service to a new destination - Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - starting on Dec. 10, 2000.

"I know many New Mexicans have wanted this aircraft and have been very patient while we looked for just the right opportunity," said Terry Eisenbart, Southwest's marketing manager for New Mexico. "New Mexico One is so beautiful. I hope people here feel it is worth the wait."

Ricks and Eisenbart hosted approximately 800 community leaders, including New Mexico's First Lady Dee Johnson and Governor Vincent Pino of the Zia Pueblo. Since New Mexico One carries the ancient symbol of its people, officials at Southwest Airlines and the designers of the paint scheme consulted with the Zias to make sure the symbol was used correctly.

"The Zia symbol means a great deal to us and we appreciate Southwest's efforts to make us a part of this process," said Peter Pino, the Zia tribal administrator. Pino was instrumental in securing the participation of his governor for today's event as well as children from the Zia Pueblo who performed a traditional Crow Dance as part of the aircraft dedication.

Mrs. Johnson proclaimed Sept. 18, 2000, "Southwest Airlines Day in the State of New Mexico" as she presented an official proclamation from Governor Gary Johnson.

"We are honored that Governor Pino and Mrs. Johnson could be with us today and are proud to carry New Mexico's message to the 56 cities across the country served by Southwest Airlines," Ricks said.

New Mexico One joins nine other 737s in Southwest's fleet that carry a unique paint scheme: Nevada One, Lone Star One (Texas), Arizona One, California One, three Shamu aircraft (Sea World), Silver One (celebrating Southwest's 25th Anniversary), and Triple Crown One (recognizing Southwest's top rankings for ontime performance, baggage handling, and Customer satisfaction).

Southwest Airlines inaugurated service to Albuquerque in April 1980 with three daily departures. It now boasts 60 daily departures and carried approximately 1.5 million Customers from Albuquerque in 1999.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), the fourth largest domestic carrier in terms of Customers boarded, currently serves 56 cities (57 airports) in 29 states. Service to Buffalo, New York starts on Oct. 8, 2000. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 2,600 flights a day with a fleet of 333 Boeing 737s with an average age of 8.4 years--one of the youngest pure jet fleets in the domestic airline industry.

This release, as well as past news releases on Southwest, are available online at News media also can access an online press room via go to About SWA and Media Relations to sign up for a user name and password.