Today in New Orleans, Southwest Airlines rolled out their latest special livery (aircraft paint job) in honor of the city's tricentennial celebration. The city is 300 years old and the plane that's been dubbed "Louisiana One" will fly in and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in the near future.

The city of New Orleans and Southwest have had a long and profitable relationship since the Dallas-based carrier started flying. New Orleans International Airport was the first airport outside of Texas where the airline flew passengers starting back in 1979. The move happened after deregulation in 1978.

Southwest.com, January 25, 1979

Photos on Southwest.com show pictures of the maiden flight from Houston's Hobby Airport to New Orleans. On hand for the trip, a Dixieland band. The event is detailed on the Southwest community page in a post called "Flashback Friday".

Our first step outside of Texas was a tiny one.  New Orleans opened with one initial daily flight from Houston Hobby (Flight #85) with a second flight added on February 12.  To celebrate the inaugural flight, a New Orleans theme was used—a Dixieland band.  The January-March 1979 issue of our Employee magazine, LUVLines identified the band as the Bayou City Dixies led by Tommy Lauer.  (Above) They played at the departure gate in Houston from 12:00 noon until the 12:50 pm departure.  The Flight Attendants wore special uniforms (on the left) with red striped vests and straw boater hats.  (Incidentally, this issue of LUVLines contains the first use of "Flight Attendant" instead of "Hostess" that I have noticed.)

A Twitter post from the airline shows the start to finish paint project at the airline's facility at Dallas' Love Field airport.

According to Southwest.com, Louisiana One joins 11other 737s in the Southwest fleet that carry unique, state-themed paint schemes: Arizona One, California One, Colorado One, Florida One, Illinois One, Lone Star One (Texas), Maryland One, Missouri One, Nevada One, New Mexico One and Tennessee One.