airline liveries

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.

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).

Hawaiian Airlines livery and logo get a refresh




Hawaiian Airlines updated a refreshed logo and livery – showing off the new artwork on a Boeing 717 jet at Honolulu International Airport on Monday, which was – appropriately enough – Lei Day, an annual celebration of Hawaiian culture.

The new livery (shown on an A330 in the mock-up above) raises, just a bit, the prominence of Pualani (Flower of the Sky) – the woman whose face is seen on the airplane tails – and adds a silver lei that wraps around the body of the aircraft.

Old and new Pualani images are below:


More than 50 planes in the Hawaiian Airlines fleet will eventually feature the new design.

This short video is a nice description of the meaning of Pualiani and how the airline approached updating the images – making them ‘more Hawaiian.’




Fresh liveries flying to the World Cup

Airlines are getting pretty darn excited – and creative – about the World Cup and their role in flying fans and teams to the games.

Lufthansa has a ““Fanhansa” livery on more than a half dozen short and long-haul aircraft.


And Brussels Airlines just sent their Red Devils soccer team to Brazil on a plane that looks like this on the outside.

Brussels plane

And which had turf replacing the carpet on the inside.


Back with more World Cup liveries tomorrow. If you’ve spotted one, please share your photos.

Lively airline liveries

EVA Hello Kitty Happy Music Jet h

What’s that up in the sky? Usually it’s an airplane painted with an airline’s standard design, or livery, which serves as an important part of a company’s brand. But these lively, often one-off airline liveries use cartoon characters, animals and other imagery to perk up the skies.

Here are some of the fun airline liveries I found for a slide show on MSN Travel.

Alaska Salmon-Thirty-Salmon h

Alaska Airlines Salmon-Thrity-Salmon (Courtesy of Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines’ theme planes honor Disneyland and colleges, universities and sports teams in the Northwest. Most popular, though, is the Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II livery, unveiled last October, which transforms a Boeing 737-800 into a 129-foot-long flying fish, complete with scales on the wings and salmon-pink lettering across the fuselage. A previous version of the flying salmon was painted onto a 737-400 in 2005 and repainted with the carrier’s traditional Eskimo livery in 2011.

Hbbit Aircraft

Air New Zealand – ‘Hobbit’ plane

As part of a two-movie partnership with the producers of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” Air New Zealand last year produced a “Hobbit”-themed in-flight safety video and unveiled the first of two “Hobbit”-themed liveries. The first, applied to a Boeing 777-300, is flying now between the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, which stood in for Middle Earth in the movies. Another flying billboard, applied to a 777-200, will take flight when the second movie arrives in theaters.

Qantas Boxing Kangaroo

Qantas – boxing kangaroo

A drawing of a kangaroo has been part of the Qantas Airlines livery for many years, and during the 2012 Summer Olympics, it donned a pair of boxing gloves to become a flying mascot for Australia’s Olympic teams. “The kangaroo is seen as a sporting image in Australia,” said Clark of, “and adding the boxing gloves sits well with the international image that Australia portrays of being a humorous society.”

Frontier_Polly Parrot H

Frontier Airlines – ‘spokesanimals’

Last April, Frontier Airlines announced that a wise-cracking parrot named — what else? — Polly beat out Chloe the chipmunk, Enrique the tree frog and 15 other cute contenders to win a new and coveted spot as a “spokesanimal” on the tail of a plane. Polly is in good company: 60 other animals, including Larry the lynx and Jack the rabbit, also have their pictures on Frontier Airlines planes.