Fly the Branded Skies



These are posts from Fly the Branded Skies on the topic of Liveries.

New look, same eskimo

Boeing 737 wearing Alaska's new liveryAlaska’s modernized livery, unveiled today. (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

Turns out when Alaska Airlines ruled out a significant rebrand a year ago, they didn’t mean for good. Today, the airline revealed its new look to employees and press — and, much like Southwest’s rebrand in 2014, the result is an elegant update to a classic livery.   Read more

ANA unveils Star Wars partnership

The other Star Wars news today — beyond the release of the new teaser for The Force Awakens — is a five-year partnership with All Nippon Airways. The most immediately visible manifestation of this partnership is a special R2D2 livery that will grace an ANA 787-9 later this year. There’s a microsite too, but for the moment it’s pretty short on detail.

Icelandair reveals livery inspired by the northern lights

The northern lights may be, as some claim, a myth but they are sure are a beautiful myth. And if you want to see them, one of the airlines to fly is Icelandair. This week, the Icelandic carrier revealed a new, aurora-inspired livery on one of its 757s. The livery itself is lovely, but I’m particularly impressed by how the airline brought the northern lights into the aircraft cabin with programmable LEDs. As for the northern lights being a myth: I’ve seen them, once, from a British Airways 747, and while they seem paler than they look in the brochures, the wonder of seeing them in person more than makes up for it.

By a remarkable coincidence, two U.S. airlines launched new brand identities this week. Southwest revealed its new look at a lavish ceremony on Monday. Frontier unveiled its new look at a somewhat less fancy event earlier today. And the week is young — who knows what excitement is yet to come!

In their own ways, both Southwest and Frontier are returning to their roots. That makes sense for one airline; it’s a perplexing choice for the other. The difference says a lot about what it means to be a “low-cost carrier” today.

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On the first Monday in March, 1961, the unthinkable struck Eastern Air Lines: a deficit. After 26 years of profits, Eastern declared a loss of $3.6 million.

The loss in 1960 marked the beginning of a decade of change at Eastern. It revealed fundamental problems from which the airline would never really recover. But it also spurred one of the most remarkable reinventions of any airline brand, ever. The changes at Eastern went far beyond a new coat of paint on its airplanes. They reflected an airline that not only portrayed itself differently, but saw itself differently.

For in just ten years, Eastern went from “bums on seats” to “the Wings of Man.”

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A tale of two carriers

New Air Australia livery

Last week, Qantas shocked the industry (and passengers) by grounding its fleet and locking out its employees. Now Qantas is flying again — but it’s flying into more crowded skies.

In the past three days, two of Qantas’s competitors have launched new low-cost brands. On Tuesday, Singapore Airlines introduced Scoot. Then, on Thursday, Australia’s Strategic Airlines unveiled its new name, Air Australia, and a new, low-cost focus. Air Australia’s new livery is pictured above. As an act of mercy, I am saving Scoot’s for after the jump.

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Designed for you?

Look at the image above. Do you see an airplane? Look closer. You may just barely be able to make it out. This is the same airplane that, some day soon, will buried in snow on the tarmac in Helsinki and not found again until spring (which I believe takes place for 15 minutes in July if you’re in Helsinki.)

Today, Finnair announced a new, €10-million rebranding as part of its strategic plan to expand in Asia. The airline wants to be the number one airline in the Nordic countries, and in the top three airlines in Asian traffic.

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Remember when…

News leaked this week that United Airlines is polling its current and former employees on which classic livery to feature on a 757 next year. The livery will celebrate the airline’s 85th anniversary. Thanks to @GordonWerner, you can see the five options here. I don’t want to unduly influence the voting, but the Mainliner colours sure look sharp…

When United’s “retrojet” takes to the skies, it will join dozens of other airplanes painted in the bygone colours of dozens of different airlines. It seems almost every airline has a retrojet these days. The trend started ten years ago, and is only gaining momentum.   Read more