Despite introducing 727s and swallowing several smaller Alaskan operators, the early 1970s was another difficult time for Alaska Airlines, which had been leading a hand to mouth existence for many years.
The crash of a 727 in late 1971 only piled on the pressure further and by 1972 the airline owed $22 million to its creditors. Finally, president and chief executive officer Charles "Chuck" Willis was deposed in 1972 by the airline's board and replaced by Ronald F. Cosgrave, a board member who had gotten his start in business providing Alaskans with mobile homes. He would see an overhaul of Alaska's poor image including its livery.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: