Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 becomes a flying work of art

Aloha AirlinesAn Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-700 has begun service as a flying work of art. The aircraft, hand-painted by well-known marine life artist Wyland, is being billed as part of an effort to preserve Hawai'i's unique marine life and ocean environment by raising public awareness of them.

A page on the Aloha Airlines website about the newly painted aircraft says:
In a traditional blessing ceremony, Aloha bestowed the name Koholalele on the jetliner, which will fly between Hawai'i and the West Coast. The name Koholalele (literally "flying or leaping whale") honors the humpback whale, an ancient visitor to Hawai'i, considered by Hawaiians to be a kupuna, or elder, in its own right. Koholalele also is a place name for an area along the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island and the name of a wind that "leaps over the land" like a flying whale.
Both sides of the airliner's fuselage portray examples of marine life found in Hawai'i, including several endangered species, and some creatures unique to the islands. A large photo of the aircraft on the Aloha Airlines website shows humpback whales, two species of dolphins, a tiger shark, a Hawaiian monk seal, a green sea turtle, a Laysan albatross, and a species of reef triggerfish endemic to Hawaiian waters known locally as the 'humuhumunukunuku apua'a' (yes, really!). Visit the page and click on the animals to display a description of each.

Plane spotters on both shores of the Pacific will be watching for this uniquely painted aircraft. For the record, its registration number is N748AL.

[Photo Source]

UPDATE Sept. 3, 2007: This post was selected for the first Carnival of Aloha, a showcase of Hawaii bloggers hosted by Homespun Honolulu. Go on over there and check out the great selections from blogs about visiting and living in Hawaii. (And thanks to Evelyn for including The Aloha Airlines flying work of art in the blog carnival.)