In celebration of more than 15 years of service in the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska Airlines is partnering with Hawaiʻi-based illustrator, Shar Tuiʻasoa of Punky Aloha Studio to design our second special-edition painted aircraft in honor of the Aloha State. The artwork for the new aircraft will reflect Hawaiʻi’s Pledge To Our Keiki and will be revealed later this year.
Tuiʻasoa is an acclaimed illustrator and author known for her bold, colorful, and strikingly modern graphic style that showcases Polynesian heritage. Punky Aloha Studio is Tui‘asoa’s illustration studio where she creates illustrations for murals, books, magazines, and product packaging. The Hawai‘i-born artist has worked with Amazon, Disney, Target, AT&T, Sephora, The New York Times and many other recognized companies.
"I’m excited to partner with Alaska Airlines to design a powerful message in a unique way to a global audience,” said Tui‘asoa. “I’m honored to draw inspiration from our keiki (children) who have pledged their commitment to mālama ‘āina (care for the land) and hope that the end result will motivate others to do the same.”
The desire to work with Tuiʻasoa has been on the minds of employees for a while now, with Alaska’s employee-led Pacific Islander Alliance (one of the company’s 12 Business Resource Groups) having passionately advocated for her work as a skilled artist proudly representing Hawaiʻi and Pacific Islander culture.
"With the recent retirement of our first Hawaiʻi-themed livery, we are thrilled to work with another local artist to honor our connection to the Islands,” said Daniel Chun, Alaska Airlines’ Hawaiʻi director of sales, community, and public relations. “We love Shar’s work, and we share many of the same values and commitment to Hawaiʻi. It’s our goal to not just paint an airplane, but to carry the message about being a mindful traveler and invite our guests to join us in caring for Hawai‘i and the many places we live and fly.”
Last year, Alaska partnered with Hawaiʻi non-profit, Kanu Hawaiʻi and signed the Pledge To Our Keiki – an invitation for residents and visitors to give back during their time in the Islands. Students from schools across the state created the Pledge as a commitment to respect and care for the island places they call home so that future generations can continue to enjoy all that Hawai‘i has to offer. This week, Alaska joined Kanu Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Governor Josh Green, Superintendent of Education Keith Hayashi and other partners in a conference to support the launch of the Pledge To Our Keiki throughout Hawaiʻi’s public schools.
In 2013, Alaska painted our first Hawaiʻi-themed airplane after hosting a statewide “Paint-the-Plane” contest for local students, in partnership with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education and Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools. Dubbed the “Spirit of the Islands,” the unique paint theme depicted Hawaiʻi’s cultural diversity and was designed by a local artist and Honolulu high school junior Aaron Nee. Nee’s design was selected from among more than 2,700 submissions by students across the Hawaiian Islands. After nearly a decade of flying throughout Alaska’s route network, the Spirit of the Islands was ready for a repaint and the livery was retired in May 2022.