Alaska Airlines creates special experience to boost California tourism

 A Boeing 737-990 (ER) operated by Alaska Airlines takes off from JFK Airport
A Boeing 737-990 (ER) operated by Alaska Airlines takes off from JFK Airport Photo credit Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images

With the summer tourism season fast approaching, the travel industry is looking to tap into the demand brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Alaska Airlines at San Francisco International Airport is getting creative to encourage people to fly by giving travelers a special Star Wars experience. The airline painted an aircraft black with a massive millennium falcon on the tail fighting with tie fighters.

"It is bringing that joy and that fun to people and I think that’s what this aircraft does," Neil Thwaites Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President of California said.

David Perry is on the Board of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, he said companies are looking to tap into the pent-up demand to travel.

"Experiential travel is the trend. People don't just want to travel they want an experience of travel," Perry told KCBS Radio.

Michelle Heston with Fairmont Hotel and Resorts said international and domestic tourism to California is starting to bounce back.

"I think it's a giant step in the recovery of tourism in the state of California, particularly in these important markets between Northern and Southern California and these are some of the biggest partners that we have in the golden state coming together to say we're back," Heston said.

The Star Wars Galaxy Edge plane required 228 gallons of paint and nearly a month's worth of work it will remain in Alaska’s fleet for another eight years.

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