Alaska Airlines put NBA star Kevin Durant’s image on a plane

Courtesy Alaska Airlines

Basketball fans will want to keep an eye out for Alaska Airlines’ new specially decaled 737-900ER aircraft featuring the likeness of Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.

The design is made up of more than 34 giant decal pieces and covers approximately 560 square feet across the fuselage and, according to Alaska Airlines, it took six mechanics and electrical technicians 144 hours to complete this special installation.

Courtesy Alaska Airlines

Why Durant? He teamed up with Alaska Airlines last September to support the airline’s youth and education programs in the Bay Area.


Alaska Airlines’ new Incredibles 2-themed plane

(Courtesy Alaska Airlines)

DisneyPixar’s Incredibles 2 film is due out on June 15 and in anticipation Alaska Airlines unveiled a special-edition plane featuring the “Supers” at the carrier’s hangar in Seattle.

The 737-800 features the Parr family—Bob, Helen, Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack—across the fuselage, wearing their ‘Incredibles’ super outfits. An Incredibles 2 logo greets passengers as they board and an image of the raccoon from the film, Jack-Jack’s nemesis, will be visible to passengers seated over the wings.

The plane – with tail number N519AS – will start flying throughout Alaska’s route network starting on Sunday.

Here’s a video of how they painted the plane:

American Airlines rolls out Avengers: Infinity War livery

Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Stand Up To Cancer

Cancer sucks.

American Airlines and Marvel Studios agree. So they have joined forces in the Stand Up to Cancer campaign to create a special airplane livery showing heroes from the Marvel Studios’ film Avengers: Infinity War alongside the Stand Up To Cancer logo and images of cancer researchers and American Airlines employees who are cancer survivors.


Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Stand Up To Cancer

The aircraft was revealed at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday and will fly between New York and Los Angeles as part of the PSA campaign designed to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and treatments.

Want to help? Donate at least $25 to the campaign and you’ll get 10 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for every mile donated. Details here.

Brussels Airlines rolls out its Smurf plane

Brussels Airlines revealed its 5th airplane paint scheme featuring a Belgian icon.

This one is called Aerosmurf and it honors those beloved small, blue characters known as Smurfs, which were created by cartoonist Peyo.



Both the inside AND the outside of the airplane are Smurf-themed, with 19 Smurfs on the fusealage.

Here are the details from the airline:

“In the cockpit we find Smurfette as the captain and Papa Smurf as co-pilot. …On the left hand side Harmony Smurf is playing the Belgian national anthem on the saxophone – a Belgian invention – together with another smurf who is playing the harmonica, referring to the famous Belgian musician Toots Thielemans. On the crew smurf’s trolley we find a miniature Atomium.

On the right side of the plane a crew smurf is serving Belgian fries and waffles to the smurf passengers. Aerosmurf also has two secret passengers, Gargamel and Azrael, trying to escape through a hatch in the belly of the plane. A treat for plane spotters, since they are only visible during takeoff and landing.”

Inside, passengers will see Smurfs footprints on the carpet, see a Smurfs video and hear special Smurf-themed boarding music.

The Smurf design is by Marta Mascellani, whose entry was the winner in a contest voted on by the public.

Other liveries in the Belgian icons series honor the artist Magritte, Rackham (a Tin Tin themed plane), Trident (dedicated to the Belgian soccer team, the Red Devils) and Amare, honoring an  iconic Belgian music festival.

Here are some more AeroSmurf photos.

Sky scenes: five new/old airline liveries

 Like decorative or commemorative t-shirts, airplane paint jobs, or liveries, serve as giant ads to promote airline brands or mark special occasions. Here are some new and unique designs recently spotted in the skies.

Qantas goes dotty

Courtesy Qantas

 The newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for Sydney, Australia-based Qantas came out of the factory covered in a unique design based on the “Yam Dreaming” painting by the late indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

The bold red and white livery features close to 5000 dots and is only the second time in the airline’s history that the iconic flying kangaroo always seen on the aircraft tail has been changed to become part of a special painted design.

Lufthansa rebrands for the digital age


Courtesy Lufthansa

New aircraft livery – the first in almost thirty years – is the major piece of a larger brand update German flag carrier Lufthansa revealed on February 7.

“Against the backdrop of digitalization and changing customer requirements, Lufthansa recognized that the company needed to modernize the aircraft appearance in order to remain up to date,” the airline said a statement.

Displayed first on a Boeing 747-8 and an Airbus A321, the new paint scheme no longer features any of Lufthansa’s well-recognized yellow color but focuses instead on a simpler blue-and-white design that uses a darker shade of the blue specifically designed for carrier. The new livery does keep the carrier’s signature crane on the tail, but the crane is now encircled with a thinner ring that the airline says makes the crane look more elegant and gives it more space.

United Airlines looks forward with a look back

Courtesy United Airlines

United Airlines retired it last Boeing 747 passenger aircraft in November 2017 and gave the iconic humped jumbo jet known at the “Queen of the Skies” a special send-off with a ‘retro’ flight re-enacting the airline’s first 747 commercial flight from San Francisco to Honolulu in July 23, 1970. The flight included Mai Tais and other food and drinks featured on the 1970’s era in-flight menu and a special livery featuring the “Friend Ship” design used on the jet’s first flight.

KLM says farewell to its Fokkers

Courtesy KLM

Airlines replace and retire aircraft all the time, but in October 2017, when Dutch carrier KLM retired the last Fokker aircraft in its Cityhopper fleet, the good-bye was especially bittersweet. That’s because Fokker is the Dutch aircraft manufacturer that made the planes KLM first flew when the airline was formed 97 years ago, and the airline has always had Fokkers in its fleet.

To honor the long partnership, in June 2017 KLM applied a special livery featuring the portrait of aviation pioneer and airplane manufacturer Anthony Fokker to a Fokker 70 aircraft that retired on October 28.

Air France launches jaunty Joon


Courtesy Air France

To battle the ultra-low-cost carriers that have been nibbling away at its market, in December 2017 Paris-based Air France introduced a new airline called Joon that the carrier says is aimed at serving young and always-connected “millennials whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology.”

By summer 2018 Joon will be flying from Paris to 13 short and long-haul destinations and in addition to YouJoon, an inflight streaming system that passengers (of any age) can access on their smartphones, laptops or tablets, Joon’s hopes to signal it hipness with a visual identity that has at its core an electric blue color featured in crew uniforms and in the airline’s livery.

(My story about recent liveries spotted in the skies first appeared on CNBC in a slightly different format).