BOSTON - The Spoked-B reached new heights on Monday morning with the unveiling of "Bear Force One," JetBlue's new Bruins-themed plane. It is the airline's first livery dedicated to an NHL team.
"I love it," said B's president Cam Neely, who joined Blades and a number of Bruins and JetBlue executives for the debut inside Terminal C at Logan Airport. "It's great for the organization, it's great for the brand. It's great for our fans across the country.
"This has been a couple years in the works, to be honest with you. There have been stops and starts and the timing couldn't be better."
Indeed it is. With the Bruins in the midst of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes, the plane's inaugural flight was adjusted to fly directly to Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Monday afternoon ahead of Tuesday's Game 3.
Among those on board for the maiden voyage were a bevy of Bruins fans, including the Evers family - season tickets holders at TD Garden - and former Black & Gold defenseman and 98.5 The Spots Hub analyst Bob Beers, who welcomed passengers with a message over the PA system before the flight.
"It really couldn't have been better," said Neely, whose squad holds a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series with the Hurricanes. "And for JetBlue to change [the itinerary] and put this plane on that route to Raleigh is pretty cool."
According to Neely, the Bruins' marketing department collaborated with JetBlue to determine the plane's final paint job. The body of the aircraft is primarily black, with gold along the underbelly and tailfin, which is also emblazoned with the Spoked-B.
The Bruins' signature "Boston's Team Since 1924" logo is also marked next to the boarding door, while "Bear Force One" is written in white under the cockpit.
"It looks sweet," said Neely. "The colors are nice...our marketing department, there was a number of different iterations of the paint scheme, but we landed on this one and felt this was the best."
JetBlue, which has been the official airline of the Bruins since 2013, also has planes dedicated to the Boston Celtics and Boston Red Sox.
Photos from the unveiling of "Bear Force One":