ATLANTA – AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and Georgia Aquarium today unveiled a custom designed aircraft celebrating their long partnership. The Boeing 737-700 aircraft, named Dolphin 1, is uniquely adorned with dolphins and an aquatic theme to celebrate the airline’s partnership with the world’s largest aquarium while highlighting the facility’s newest attraction, the AT&T Dolphin Tales gallery and theater.
The one-of-a-kind aircraft was introduced to the AirTran fleet with a water cannon salute from the Atlanta Fire Department and festive music from the Tri-Cities High School Marching Band. Executives from AirTran Airways and the Georgia Aquarium gathered with AirTran Airways Crew Members and other guests to commemorate the launch. Dolphin 1 will serve AirTran’s growing national and international network of more than 70 cities and will be seen by millions of travelers.
“AirTran Airways is so proud of our long partnership with Georgia Aquarium,” said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways’ chairman, president and CEO. “We are excited to add Dolphin 1 to the AirTran fleet and look forward to helping raise awareness of this world-class destination in our largest hub city.”
The unveil is part of the community’s celebration of Georgia Aquarium’s $110 million dolphin exhibit, which features a 1.8 million gallon habitat featuring bottlenose dolphins. The gallery includes a lobby featuring an expansive underwater viewing window, and an 1,800-seat theater featuring a live production with dolphins, human actors and singers, and special effects and lighting. To help underscore Georgia Aquarium’s commitment to marine mammal conservation and research, in 2008 the Aquarium donated $1.5 million to build a new marine animal rescue, care and research facility, the Dolphin Conservation Field Station at Marineland, Florida.
“AirTran’s early commitment to supporting the Aquarium began in 2005, and continues to this day,” said Bernie Marcus, Benefactor, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Georgia Aquarium. “We’re very grateful to AirTran for their ongoing support and we’re very excited to celebrate the unveiling of Dolphin 1.”