Saturday, 27 April 2019

United Airlines new livery.....

One of the biggest stories of the week has been the new modernised United Airlines aircraft livery which was unveiled by the US mega-carrier on Wednesday, April 24th.

The new design is supposed to be a visual representation of United's ongoing brand evolution while staying true to the airlines' history that spans 93 years of operation.  "As we improve and elevate our customer experience, we are changing the way people think and feel about United, and this branding captures that new spirit," said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. "Each improvement we've added to our service advances our evolution as an airline, furthering our effort to elevate and redefine customer service in the sky. This modernized design, especially our iconic globe, enhances the very best of United's image and values while pointing in the direction of where we intend to go next in serving our customers."

The new livery features three shades of blue – Rhapsody Blue, United Blue and Sky Blue which are used throughout the design. The carrier says it pays respect to United's heritage while bringing more modern energy. The airline is keeping its iconic globe logo on the aircraft tail, which represents the carrier's expansive route network of reaching 355 destinations in nearly 60 countries. The tail will be updated with a gradient in the three shades of blue, while the logo will now appear predominantly in Sky Blue. The engines and wingtips are also being painted United Blue, and the swoop that customers and employees have expressed a fondness for on United's Dreamliner fleet will be added to all aircraft in Rhapsody Blue. United's name will appear larger on the aircraft body and the lower half of the body will be painted Runway Gray. United's mission of "Connecting people. Uniting the world." will also be painted near the door of each aircraft.

The new design features core colours from United's updated brand palette, which was introduced last year as a step toward updating the brand's visual identity. Blue continues to be the airline's primary colour, with various tones creating more depth and reflecting the colours customers and employees see when they look out the plane window at the sky. The airline's new colour palette also includes shades of purple, which is most recognizable as the colour of the new United Premium Plus seats are being added to the fleet. When combined, the purple and blue tones create a soothing environment and a more relaxed travel experience. In updating its colours, United is reducing the use of gold, which was added to the brand palette almost 30 years ago. United's new colour palette can also be seen in the accent colours of the new uniforms that are being created for more than 70,000 front-line employees.

On average, United aircraft receive new paint jobs every seven years. The first aircraft painted with the new design is a Boeing 737-800, which will be joined by a mix of narrowbody, widebody and regional aircraft with the updated livery throughout the year.

Has the new look for United gone down well?  "It hasn't changed much, thus retaining a recognisable branding. It has a few tweaks to ensure it is seen as new and different, it also is pleasing to the eye, with no unexpected colours or shapes."  Jason Kingston,  a brand design consultant told us on Friday, adding, "As far as a soft brand refresh goes, this is pretty damn near perfect."

Our own correspondent Josh Jordan like the new livery, "It's changed, but not too much. I like the swoop down at the nose - reminds me of the swoop down on KLM's aircraft."

Adam Shaw said, "It hasn't changed all that much, but I like the new blue on the tail. It looks smart."

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