Are you a ‘Coug’ or a ‘Dawg’? Alaska Airlines has something exciting in store regardless of which university you root for in Washington. This fall, Alaska Airlines unveils two new liveries to honor Washington State University (WSU) and the University of Washington (UW). They take college pride sky-high and elevate the airline’s partnership with these esteemed institutions.
Here’s what you need to know about these flying mascots. Plus, what you’ll find inside the colorful college-themed planes!
Video: New Alaska Airlines Livery Taking Off Just in Time for Football Season
Nothing screams college like football season, and Alaska knows it. On September 23, the airline’s E175 “Go Cougs” aircraft will debut on a Seattle (SEA) to Pullman (PUW) route, coinciding with WSU’s game against the Oregon State Beavers.
Likewise, the “Go Dawgs” UW-themed Alaska Airlines livery will make its first appearance on October 3, flying from Seattle (SEA) to Portland (PDX).
A Productive Partnership in Education and Research
WSU President Kirk Schulz stated that the ‘Go Cougs’ aircraft epitomizes the university’s and Alaska Airlines’ close relationship.
“The new Go Cougs aircraft celebrates the productive partnership between Washington State University and Alaska Airlines,” said Schulz. “We are proud to have Alaska Airlines as a continued supporter of our educational programs and research pursuits, particularly in developing and adopting sustainable aviation fuels. Together, we will help transform the future of air travel across the state, region, and world.”
Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, echoed these sentiments.
“Our shared values and commitment to our region are why the UW is proud to partner with Alaska Airlines, and we are thrilled to see the purple and gold on their aircraft. This is another exciting step in the UW’s continued partnership with Alaska Airlines, an innovative and deep-rooted Pacific Northwest company that adds so much to our local and state economy, as well as fostering connections across the world as a member of the oneworld Alliance.”
A Long-Standing Tradition of University-Themed Liveries
This is the third iteration of university-themed planes joining Alaska Airlines’ fleet, each signifying a long-standing tradition of community involvement. The planes, tail numbers #N661QX (“Go Cougs”) and #N662QX (“Go Dawgs”), will operate on regional flights flown by Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines’ regional sister carrier. These college-themed aircraft liveries are one of many ways guests can celebrate their school spirit year-round.
Joe Sprague, Horizon Air president, commented that locals are thrilled seeing their university colors flying. “Since launching our first university-themed livery almost 20 years ago, we know that few things get local fans as excited as seeing their school’s colors on the side of the hometown airlines’ airplanes.”
Inside: Modern Aircraft with Premium Features
These special college-themed liveries will feature on Alaska’s modern Embraer E175 jets, which offer three classes of service, inflight entertainment, and more.
Horizon currently flies 41 E175 jets, with 50 new jets expected by 2026. The airline aims to offer a premium flying experience for its customers.
Horizon E175 jets feature:
- The jet aircraft has three classes of service.
- Alaska Airlines and Horizon elite members can enjoy upgrades to First Class and Premium Class.
- All seats are window or aisle – there are no middle seats.
- The E175 offers a quieter flight than the Q400 turboprop.
- Passengers can enjoy inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity on board.
- The aircraft features larger overhead bins for showing carry-ons.
- The E175 flies faster than the Q400.
More Than Just Air Travel
Alaska Airlines’ commitment to the community extends beyond college sports and air travel. The airline has been serving communities in Eastern Washington for over 40 years, making travel accessible and creating job opportunities. It’s also the official airline partner for WSU Athletics for the 2023-2024 academic year, featuring exciting gameday giveaways and sweepstakes.
Advancements in Sustainable Aviation
Over the years, Alaska Airlines has collaborated with WSU in producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This initiative aligns with Alaska’s goal of achieving carbon net-zero status by 2040, reflecting the airline’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Whether you’re rooting for the ‘Cougs’ or the ‘Dawgs,’ these special-themed Alaska Airlines liveries will lift your spirits. They symbolize much more than college pride. They stand for community commitment, innovation in sustainable travel, and the strength of airline partnerships that aim to make a difference.