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AMERICA WEST UNVEILS DIAMONDBACKS PLANE: LUCKY FANS TAKE OFF TO DENVER FOR BASEBALL GAME

PHOENIX, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) hit a home run today with baseball fans around the country when it unveiled a Boeing 757 painted in a tribute to the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club, which begins play in 1998.

The news was even better for 40 Arizona residents who joined dignitaries on the inaugural flight to Denver to see a ball game at Coors Field. The lucky fans were participants in a KTAR 620 radio promotion.

"On behalf of the home town airline, I'm extremely proud to dedicate this aircraft to the home town team, the Arizona Diamondbacks," said Bill Franke, America West chairman and chief executive officer. "This beautiful Boeing 757 aircraft will fly the Diamondbacks banner across the skies of North America."

"The Arizona Diamondbacks family is honored that America West Airlines would recognize the franchise in this way," said Jerry Colangelo, Arizona Diamondbacks chairman and chief executive officer. "We are especially pleased that this distinguishes the Diamondbacks as the only Major League Baseball team to have an airplane customized in our honor."

Designed by the Seattle Design Group which also designed America West's new livery, the aircraft features a teal fuselage with red trim. The Diamondbacks logo graces the body of the aircraft just behind the main passenger doors. A large, white baseball with bold red and black stitches adorns the tail.

The Diamondbacks plane is America West's sixth theme aircraft. The airline also has a plane sporting a tribute to the Phoenix Suns as well as aircraft honoring Arizona, Nevada and Ohio, all states that serve as home to America West's hub cities. Another specially painted Boeing 757 bears a child's concept of teamwork and was designed by the daughter of an America West pilot.

The Arizona Diamondbacks aircraft will fly across the country carrying passengers to cities from Los Angeles to New York City and Chicago to Tampa Bay.

America West, the nation's ninth-largest carrier, serves more than 90 destinations in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
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/NOTE TO EDITORS: Digital color photographs of America West's new Arizona Diamondbacks theme aircraft are available free of charge by calling Wieck Photo DataBase at 214/392-0888./

/CONTACT: Gus Whitcomb of America West Airlines, 602-693-5732; or Bob Crawford of Arizona Diamondbacks, 602-514-8528/

(AWA)

CO: America West Airlines ST: Arizona IN: AIR SU:

BB-TT -- LAF011 -- 0226 05/17/96 13:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 17, 1996
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