We finally have a date for United’s big reveal of its brand new aircraft livery. Expect evolution of the current brand it acquired in the merger with Continental rather than a revolution that starts from scratch. But whatever you do, don’t hold your breath expecting the Tulip to make a reappearance.
The Chicago-based airline teased on Twitter earlier today that the livery would be unveiled on April 24th – full details are yet to be announced but if the picture is anything to go by, the livery will initially adorn a Boeing 737. And no, playing with the photo in Photoshop is not going to reveal any other clues – someone has already tried that and lightening the shadows reveals the current United livery.
We can perhaps hazard a few guesses at what the livery might look at. United has been very publicly evolving its brand design over the last year and we’re starting to see elements of the updated brand in airports and in United’s planes. Central to the updated branding is a new set of colors that complement United’s classic Rhapsody Blue hue.
Feeding off feedback from staff and customers, United has decided to introduce brighter and livelier shades like Pacific Blue, Premium Purple and Atlantic Amethyst. We’ve already seen these colors feature heavily in United’s new Tracey Reese-designed uniform and we can be pretty certain these colors will also make an appearance in the new livery.
It’s also likely that colors like the current gold shade may be retired seeing that it doesn’t feature at all in United’s new color palette.
At the same time, the brand evolution has made use of many elements of the Continental globe logo. You’ll see components of that logo throughout branding elements in new Polaris cabins, the airline’s new Premium Economy product and in many other areas. This isn’t simply a case of replacing signage so I think we can also safely assume the livery will also be an evolution of the current globe logo.
Then there’s the question of whether we can expect a cheatline, a shaded underbelly or even the tail design extending onto the fuselage. Whatever the case, we can also be pretty certain that if United goes the way of boring but economical Eurowhite then there will be a lot of very disgruntled onlookers.
A final clue comes in the form of several special liveries United has recently revealed – the first was a Star Wars themed Boeing 737, while a set of ‘Her Art Here’ submissions all featured the ‘United’ name in a much larger and bolder typeface than is currently found on the airline’s aircraft. It’s a popular design feature of many new liveries and we can probably assume this will be carried over to United’s new standard livery as well.
Introducing the newest member of our intergalactic fleet.
— United Airlines (@united) April 12, 2019
I suppose we’ll all know for certain on April 24th.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.