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Some Pac-10 schools flying high


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SEATTLE Horizon Air today unveiled plans to honor four of the largest public universities in Oregon and Washington by painting four 70-seat CRJ-700 jets in university colors and marks. The special themed planes will be created for Oregon State University, University of Oregon, University of Washington and Washington State University at no cost to the universities.

The aircraft will be painted one at a time starting in late December in the following sequence: WSU, Oregon, OSU and Washington, reflecting the order in which agreements were reached for Horizon to use their trademarked logos and symbols. The painting will take about 10 days per aircraft. The date each freshly painted aircraft will be entered into service will be announced later, as soon as it's determined.

The four jets were already scheduled to be repainted. They recently returned to Horizon's fleet after flying under contract for nearly four years as Frontier JetExpress. Because of the timing, the new looks will involve no additional painting cost to Horizon.

Horizon has regularly accommodated passengers associated with the four universities. Seattle (home to Washington), Pullman (WSU) and Eugene (Oregon) were among the first seven cities Horizon served upon its founding in 1981. OSU is the only school of the four that isn't located in a Horizon destination, but Corvallis is just a short drive from both Portland and Eugene.

"Like Horizon, these four state universities are deeply rooted in the Great Northwest. When we explored the possibility of creating special liveries that reflect our Northwest heritage, these venerable institutions easily rose to the top of the list," said Dan Russo, Horizon's director of marketing and communications. "By flying their colors and the colors of their rivals we're aiming to add fun to the flying experience. We expect this will thrill fans of the school teams, and put a smile on the faces of graduates, current students and university staff."

The aircraft will operate on routes normally designated for jet service in Horizon's regular schedule. Those routes include service from Portland to Northern and Southern California, and from Seattle to Santa Barbara, Fresno, and Reno. Horizon uses all of its aircraft in its regular flight schedule (including backup aircraft), so the airline expects to have extremely limited opportunities to use these university-themed planes for charters or other special assignments.

Named 2007 Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine, Horizon today serves 48 cities throughout California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and British Columbia and Alberta. Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve 92 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).

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Doesn't Nike get a say on the Oregon design?

Yeah, I was about to say, isnt Nike going to mess with it?

All of these schools are Nike schools, so why isn't there more random piping?

And I, too, really dig the Cougs plane. I just wish they'd have included the Cougars script that used to be on the football hlemets.

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Doesn't Nike get a say on the Oregon design?

Yeah, I was about to say, isnt Nike going to mess with it?

All of these schools are Nike schools, so why isn't there more random piping?

And I, too, really dig the Cougs plane. I just wish they'd have included the Cougars script that used to be on the football hlemets.

WSU is still a Russell school as far as I know. There was talk about the Cougs signing a Nike contract a few years ago but I don't think anything ever came of it.

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Doesn't Nike get a say on the Oregon design?

Yeah, I was about to say, isnt Nike going to mess with it?

All of these schools are Nike schools, so why isn't there more random piping?

And I, too, really dig the Cougs plane. I just wish they'd have included the Cougars script that used to be on the football hlemets.

The script "cougars" is on the jet if you look closely in the gray. What they should have done was swapped the script "cougars" and the "WSU" wordmark (because the school hardly ever uses it).

And yes, Wazzu is a Russell school, with the exception of track, women's BB, and maybe another sport or two.

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Doesn't Nike get a say on the Oregon design?

Yeah, I was about to say, isnt Nike going to mess with it?

All of these schools are Nike schools, so why isn't there more random piping?

And I, too, really dig the Cougs plane. I just wish they'd have included the Cougars script that used to be on the football hlemets.

WSU is still a Russell school as far as I know. There was talk about the Cougs signing a Nike contract a few years ago but I don't think anything ever came of it.

You're right about the Russell jerseys. The equipment manager, Milton Neal (and his brother, the former equipment manager at WSU and current equipment manager at Arizona, Wendell) has had a long running relationship with the Russell folks. I was speaking more on the fact that WSU has a department wide shoe contract with Nike. My bad. I forget that everyone here is just as detail oriented as I am when it come to logos and uniforms.

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