On Wednesday, Southwest Airlines unveiled its latest
special-livery aircraft... and she's a real looker.
The Dallas-based low-cost carrier flew the aircraft -- dubbed
"SI One," for reasons soon to become clear -- into New York's
LaGuardia Airport, where Southwest is expected to begin service
sometime this year. But that's not what was noteworthy about the
Rather, it was the nature of the new livery... a supersized
graphic of Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, wearing a bikini similar
to the one she sports on the cover of this year's Sports
Illustrated swimsuit issue. Refaeli herself rode onboard "her"
plane to LGA, albeit this time dressed more appropriately for the
chilly New York winter.
Believe it or not, the idea of an aircraft adorned with a
scantily-clad woman isn't new. Similarly-bedecked aircraft have
flown for various European airlines, though N922WN is the first
aircraft with this kind of livery to fly in the US.
It's not without some irony a plane like this is flying for
Southwest. While the carrier makes much of its "fun" image, in
practice Southwest has recently displayed a rather conservative
attitude when dealing with women flying on its planes in somewhat
The Dallas Morning News helpfully points out that, unlike Kyla Ebbert, Refaeli first came to fame on the
pages of a magazine... then rode onboard a Southwest plane. Ebbert
parlayed her unpleasant 2007 experience onboard a Southwest flight
into a magazine spread of her own.