Alaska Airlines Thursday unveiled its new commuter aircraft painted in the red and black of San Diego State University and took school officials, alumni and others for a short demonstration flight.
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The 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop, which will be operated by its commuter affiliate Horizon Air, has a red tail, a black vertical stripe and the letters "SDSU" on the fuselage behind the wing.
"We're proud to add San Diego State University's bold colors to our fleet of university planes and especially pleased that this aircraft represents our first California school," Alaska Airlines' marketing vice president Joe Sprague said. "We hope the Aztec plane will bring smiles to our passengers and be a source of pride for SDSU students, alumni and faculty for years to come as we fly it throughout our regional route network."
It's the airline's ninth plane sporting college colors. The others are Boise State, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.
"Eighty percent of San Diego State's 250,000 alumni live in California, so it will be a huge source of pride for them to see the Aztec colors flying through the sky and at our local airport," Athletic Director Jim Sterk said.
The airline is scheduled to begin nonstop service from San Diego to Fresno, Monterey and Santa Rosa early next month.
It also announced five nonstop flights per week between San Diego and Orlando, beginning Oct. 11.
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