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Face of the iconic Hawaiian Airlines logo has died

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

New York (CNN) — The “face” of the Hawaiian Airlines logo, which has decorated the tails of its airplanes for decades, has passed away.

Leina’ala Ann Teruya Drummond, Miss Hawaii 1964, died of cancer Monday at the age of 77 in Hilo, Hawaii. The Hawaiian native worked at the airline as a flight attendant when she was 18 and was later selected to become the “face” of the airlines logo, which is known as Pualani, or Hawaiian for “flower of the sky.”

Hawaiian Airlines has used the vivid image since 1973 in a few variations, with the brand most recently giving it a refresh in 2017. The face is on the tail of its fleet of airplanes, which totals more than 50 and serves nearly 30 cities globally, making Drummond’s profile instantly recognizable to many air travelers.

The face is a “promise to our guests that we offer something no other airline can — the warmth, care and generosity that are hallmarks of our Hawaiian culture,” the airline explains its on website.

In a video about its 2017 makeover, employees affectionately describe their emotional connection to the logo and that it’s “not just a picture of a woman with a flower, it’s the way the Pulani sits on the plane … overlooks and watches over us.”

Hawaiian Airlines didn’t immediately return CNN’s request for comment.

The Miss Hawaii organization said in a statement that Drummond’s “iconic smile, elegance and grace will always be remembered” and noted she placed in the top ten of the Miss America Pageant.

“Hawaii lost a talented, poised and gracious woman who touched the hearts of many across the globe,” the organization said.

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