Seven new aircraft livery designs

21 Feb 2018 by Craig Bright
Qantas Emily Kame Kngwarreye livery Dreamliner


Australia’s flag carrier has introduced four “flying art” liveries over its lifetime, and on March 2, 2018 is expected to receive its fifth – a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring a design based off of 1991 painting Yam Dreaming by Indigenous artist, Emile Kame Kngwarreye.

The design features close to 5,000 individual dots and was installed with the help of a team of more than 60 graphic designers, engineers and painters at Boeing’s facility in Seattle. The Dreamliner will debut on international routes from late March onwards.


Virgin Atlantic

Unlike Qantas’s livery for a new aircraft, Virgin Atlantic unveiled a special livery for one of its older aircraft to celebrate its return. The Airbus A340-600 – also known as “Sleeping Beauty” – has a new 152×7-foot message exclaiming “a big Virgin Atlantic thank you” along the length of the fuselage as well as an upright version of the “Flying Lady” design first seen on the airline’s first B787 Dreamliner, “Birthday Girl”.

Due to issues with the Rolls Royce engines on some of the airline’s B787s, the A340 – which had been in storage in Tarbes, France since 2015 – has been brought out of retirement. The aircraft will be used during peak travel periods.

Lufthansa Blue livery


While Germany’s flag carrier has said that the response to its new livery has been “predominantly positive”, the airline has undeniably received some pushback from the public regarding the design.

Among the most notable changes to the design is the loss of the yellow emblem in favour of a white one. As of a fortnight ago, the new design had been applied to two aircraft – an A321 and a B747-8.

Air Transat livery

Air Transat

Canadian carrier Air Transat went back to its roots for its new livery, with the touches of grey being “a nod to Air Transat’s very first livery”, according to the airline. But that’s not the only change – the brand’s name now also appears on the side and underside of the fuselage.

The first aircraft in the airline’s fleet to sport the revamped design was an A330, that debuted on the airline’s service to London Gatwick in November last year.

China Airlines' Urocissa caerulea liveried A350

China Airlines

Taiwanese carrier China Airlines unveiled its first avian-themed A350 livery in October 2016, featuring the Syrmaticus Mikado bird that’s endemic to the island. Last August, however, the airline unveiled its second such design, also for the A350, this time featuring the Taiwan blue magpie.

Named “Urocissa Caerulea” after the bird’s Latin name, the livery first appeared on the A350 that took over the airline’s Vancouver service.


Fashion company Marimekko designed a special livery for Finnair’s 11th A350 aircraft featuring its Kivet design.

The two companies’ collaboration doesn’t end there – the aircraft also has Marimekko designs in the interior textiles and tableware of the A350.

ANA A380

All Nippon Airways

Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) won’t take delivery of its first A380 superjumbo aircraft until early 2019, but that hasn’t stopped the airline from unveiling the distinctive livery that the aircraft will sport when it finally does enter service.

Set to be deployed on the airline’s services to Honolulu in Hawaii, the aircraft – which will be named “Flying Honu” – suitably features a sea turtle-inspired livery that was developed by a member of the public and chosen as part of an open competition that included some 2,000 submissions.

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