NBA great Kevin Durant graces Alaska Airlines jet
Golden State Warriors basketball player Kevin Durant is getting some symbolic help with his jump shot from Alaska Airlines – which has put his likeness on the side of a Boeing 737 set to fly Alaska routes.
On Thursday, the airline unveiled a jet decorated with a photo of Durant more than 50 feet wide, his arms outstretched across the aircraft’s fuselage. The NBA’s 2014 most valuable player and two-time Olympic gold medalist has had a partnership with the airline since September, to support its work providing education and support programs to at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay area.
“The design is made up of over 34 decal pieces and covers approximately 560 square feet across the fuselage,” airline officials wrote in a statement. “It took six mechanic and electrical technicians 144 hours to complete the special installation.”
Airline spokesman Tim Thompson said in an email Thursday that Durant isn’t the first person to appear on one of the airline’s jets. The colorful liveries date back to at least 2010, when Olympic speed-skater Apolo Anton Ohno was featured on the side of another 737.
Other Alaska Airlines liveries have celebrated the carrier’s destinations, including a “Salmon Thirty Salmon” decorated with one of the fish in 2012. Bombardier Q400 turboprops flown by Alaska’s Horizon Air have been marked with university colors, including those for University of Alaska campuses in Alaska and Fairbanks.
The jet with Durant’s photo won’t be flown to Hawaii, Thompson said, and its use “will be dependent on aircraft need and utilization.”
“But chances are you will see it on routes between to and from Interior, Southcentral and Southeast Alaska,” Thompson wrote.
Asked if any residents of the 49th state might soon appear on a 737, Thompson said there were “no current plans” at the airline for other aircraft liveries featuring people.
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