Just recently we discussed the best airlines of 2018. These carriers provided the best customer experience last year. From the moment the passengers bought their tickets, stepped inside the airport, to the whole time they were in the sky – the best airline was Singapore Airlines in 2018. The South East Asian carrier claimed its record-equaling 4th best airline title.
So, as 2019 gets underway, we try to predict which airline will be on the top step of the Top 10 Airlines Of 2019 list! Without further-a-do, let’s count down the Top 10 list!
10. Swiss International Air Lines (2018: 12 )
Starting off the Top 10 Best Airlines of 2019 list is Swiss International Air Lines. Last year the airline was outside the top 10.
However, with introducing refurbished cabins to its fleet pillars, the wide-body Airbus A340s and Boeing 777s. The new cabin will refresh the passenger experience for Economy, Business and First Class passengers. The refurbished cabins introduce newer seats, a completely new in-flight entertainment with the internet and a new lighting system for the cabin.
Additionally, Swiss is part of the Lufthansa group. So, you know that the airline will offer only the best customer experience possible. And with Qantas stagnating while Thai Airways is suffering massive financial losses, this is the perfect opportunity for Swiss to break into the Top 10 Airlines Of 2019 list.
Refurbished Swiss International Air Lines Cabin
9. Garuda Indonesia (2018: 9 )
Although last year Garuda Indonesia climbed up one place, the competition is just too stiff at the Top 10. Simply put, it is hard to move forward, unless an airline presents something very radical and new for its passengers.
Nevertheless, Garuda Indonesia has introduced some new features. Namely, on Garuda’s long-haul routes to London. Economy class passengers can purchase Premium seats, which clears up the neighboring seat from any passengers, business class meals, a Wi-Fi voucher and some other added bonuses.
The 5-star airline keeps its rightful place in the Top 10, but for now, it is not moving forward.
Garuda Indonesia - Vintage Livery Painting - YouTube
8. Lufthansa (2018: 7 )
Almost an identical situation with Garuda Indonesia, Lufthansa has not introduced any new features. But Lufthansa has been showing very impressive passenger and financial numbers for 2018, so we expect the German carrier to introduce some new features for their customers.
But for now, the only European airline 5-star airline will not move that much forward. It stays in a fairly high place on the ranking just based on their excellent work throughout the past few years. Hopefully, we’ll be wrong by the end of the year though!
Lufthansa New Livery Boeing 747
7. Hainan Airlines (2018: 8 )
One of the biggest airlines in China, Hainan Airlines moves up a place in the Top 10 Airlines Of 2019 list.
Based on the island of Hainan, the airline has managed to become one of the most successful Chinese airlines. It is the only 5-star Chinese carrier. Additionally, Hainan Airlines introduces some new services for its customers for 2019.
A brand-new Premium VIP Check-in in their hubs in Beijing in Xi’an, a new lounge in Beijing’s Terminal 2 will allow their high-end passengers to redefine what it’s like to travel with Hainan.
Furthermore, the carrier is expanding its route network massively. New flights to Canada, Unites States and European destinations will allow the Chinese carrier to work their great passenger experience charm on fresh travelers. If their tendencies continue, we might see them rising even higher in the final list!
Hainan Airlines Kung Fu Panda Livery
6. Emirates (2018: 4 )
While Emirates is known for its excellent customer service, fancy flights and luxury, the Emirati carrier is struggling. With oil prices going up, currency prices fluctuating Emirates suffered declining profits.
First 6 months of the financial year of 2018 – 2019 put the carrier at a decrease of profits at a staggering 86%. However, it still made a profit. In general, the aviation industry in the Middle East is currently struggling, so the fact that Emirates is still profitable is very remarkable.
The former 4-time best airline of the year winner lands in the 6th place in the Best Airlines of 2019 list. Hopefully, the next part of the year will include some good news for the airline and it will come back to its former glory and climb the rankings.
Emirates aircraft at Dubai International Airport
5. Cathay Pacific (2018: 6 )
One of the oldest carriers on the list, Cathay Pacific is based in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific has a very different situation compared to Emirates – while one is struggling, Cathay is reforming its operations and pursuing a profitable 2019.
So far so good, as the airline finally posted a profitable year in 2018 as a result of a reform plan announced in 2017. Furthermore, the airline from Hong Kong announced some new features last month. These include a redefined menu on-board and a new yoga center, which further adds to the already excellent customer experience for those who chose to fly with the airline.
However, this is a make it or break it year for the airline. As it finally turned a profit in its financial books, Cathay Pacific has a chance to further expand their passenger experience in 2019. If they do, I expect them to end up even higher on the Best Airlines of 2019 list at the end of the year.
The airline famous for its special Hello Kitty liveries, the airline is also renowned amongst its passengers for taking extra care of their passengers who fly on the airline. There is a reason why it‘s a 5-star rated airline.
And there is a reason why EVA moved up the top 5 this year.
The airline has some good news for its passengers, as it introduced new in-flight conveniences. The carrier partnered up with the fashion designer Jason Wu, premium brands Rimowa and Ferragamo to redefine their cabin experience.
These conveniences include new sleeping wear on long-haul flights, exclusive amenity kits, a redefined menu on routes from Taipei to some cities in the United States and new boarding refreshments. All of these new experiences are available only to Royal Laurel/Premium Laurel/Business Class passengers.
EVA Air Hello Kitty Airbus A320
3. Qatar Airways (2018: 2 )
Another airline from the Middle East, this time it is Qatar Airways. Also known for its luxury both on-board and in Qatar’s destination airports, like a fitness center in Hamad International Airport, the airline lands in the third spot for the Best Airlines of 2019 list.
However, while last year it could have competed head-to-head against Singapore Airlines for the first place, this year the situation won’t repeat itself. Even though the carrier has kept some excellent service standards, unfortunately, politics play a part.
Because of the Qatar diplomatic crisis, Qatar Airways cannot land from many Arab countries. Furthermore, many Arab countries disallowed Qatar-registered aircraft to pass over its airspace. Thus, jets from Qatar have to fly over Iran, which equals in high fees.
As a result of all these blockades, Qatar Airways has posted a loss in 2018. As a result of this loss, Qatar Airways dropped to the last step of the Top 3 Best Airlines of 2019.
2. All Nippon Airways (2018: 3 )
The Japanese carrier, which shortens its name to ANA, will have a perfect opportunity to be one of the best airlines in the world.
With Middle East airlines struggling financially and Airbus delivering ANA their first A380 Super Jumbo, the conditions might be just perfect.
In addition to this, the Japanese carrier is also making some moves in the passenger experience department. Namely, they revamped their lounges in airports, upgraded their in-flight services both internationally and domestically.
With the stars aligning perfectly, ANA lands at 2nd place in the list. If the stars move in the right direction, ANA might even cause an upset and climb one more step and reach the top. Will that be true? We’ll see!
All Nippon Airways Fleet
1. Singapore Airlines (2018: )
So, this carrier will be the best airline of 2019. Drum roll, please…
Oh, never mind. The heading already spoiled it!
Anyways, terrible jokes aside, we predict that the South East Asian carrier will claim first place again and continue from last year’s success. If they do become the best airline in the world, they will become the first carrier to win the award 5 times.
And we do believe that Singapore Airlines can do so. If ANA’s stars aligned perfectly, the conditions are even better for Singapore Airlines. The carrier not only provides probably the best service on-board with luxurious hotel rooms, but Singapore Changi Airport is also regarded as one of the best airports in the world.
Thus, there are no reasons for Singapore Airlines to reduce the quality of the experience when you step onto their planes. We do think the airline will continue their hard work and keep its first place for the second year in a row now.
Making every journey personal | Singapore Airlines - YouTube
So, to sum up, these are the Top 10 Best Airlines Of 2019:
As the year ends and we turn a new calendar page, all aviation enthusiasts and travelers ask themselves: Which airline is on top of the Best Airlines of 2018 list?
And we have the answer to that! So, make yourself comfortable, grab a cup of tea or coffee and let’s find out which airline was the best in 2018.
10. Thai Airways
Starting off the list of Best Airlines Of 2018 is Thai Airways. The national flag carrier of Thailand slowly but surely advanced towards the Top 10 list. In 2015 it placed 19th, in 2016 the airline improved to 13th. In 2017 Thai Airways almost cracked the top 10, but unfortunately, it did not make it – the carrier placed 11th.
Finally, in 2018, it managed to claim its place in the top 10! Their hard work eventually had to pay off. The airline is currently undergoing changes, namely upgrading its fleet and reorganizing its network, Thai Airways is set up to climb even higher in 2019.
Thai Airways Airbus A380
9. Garuda Indonesia
Second on the Best Airlines Of 2018 list is Garuda Indonesia. As the name suggests, the Indonesian airline has always fluctuated around the top 10 list. Last year Garuda Indonesia was 10th, while in 2016 the airline fell out of the top 10 list. Nevertheless, the airline has shown consistently that it is one of the best carriers in the world.
The national flag carrier of Indonesia has also received the award of having the best Cabin Crew for 4 years in a row now. Garuda Indonesia is widely recognized as one of the best options to choose when traveling in the South East Asia region and this is why we put it on the list!
8. Hainan Airlines
One of the major airlines of China, Hainan has shown a consistently excellent customer experience throughout the years. That is why the airline has firmly cemented its place in the list for a few years now.
Surprisingly, Hainan Airlines did not even make the Top 10 in 2015 – it ranked 22nd! What a way to improve over 3 years. The airline has this tendency to improve rather quickly, as the airline is the largest civilian-run airline in China. Also, Hainan Airlines is number 4 in terms of the largest airlines in China.
Additionally, Hainan Airlines is also one of 11 carriers in the world, that Skytrax has rated as a 5-star airline.
Hainan Airlines placed 8th
One of the oldest airlines on the list of Best Airlines of 2018, the German airline established its roots in 1926. At the time, the airline was called Deutsche Luft Hansa. Anyhow, over the past few years, it improved its exceptionally good customer experience record and that is why Lufthansa is 7th.
As is Hainan Airlines, Skytrax rated Lufthansa as a 5-star airline. It was the first European airline to join the elite club. Lufthansa became a 5 star rated airline in late 2017. To celebrate it, the airline event painted 2 aircraft, an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 747 in a 5starhansa livery.
Which is very cheeky, to say the least.
5starhansa livery on a Lufthansa Boeing 747
6. Cathay Pacific
At number 6 is Cathay Pacific – the flag carrier of Hong Kong. One of the few airlines in the world to operate an all wide-body aircraft fleet, the Hong Kongese airline is also a 5-star airline.
Regarding its ranking, the airline isn’t a new face here. It won the award of being the best airline in the world in 2003, 2005, 2009 and finally in 2014. Unfortunately, since then it has not been on the top step of the Top 10 Best Airlines list. In 2017, the airline placed 5th.
Nevertheless, those numbers are still impressive and Cathay Pacific consistently ranks as one of the best airlines roaming the skies.
Cathay Pacific Airbus A330
5. EVA Air
Most of us probably know the airline as the one which uses very cute and fun liveries, EVA Air also provides customers with an exceptional quality of service.
Although it has never won an award for being the best airline in the world, EVA Air has always been present in the top 10. With persistence and hard work, the airline achieved its highest position in the past few years.
And hopefully, we will see more of the fun and cartoony liveries for many more years, as they decorate the skies like nobody else!
EVA Air Hello Kitty Airbus A320
Emirates is a mixed bag in these awards. The airline was 4th last year. However, 2 years ago they claimed the top spot.
In total, the Middle Eastern airline has won the award 4 times. Nevertheless, the airline is renowned for its luxurious facilities in airports and on the aircraft.
Okay, that might have been quite a hyperbole. But it is not far from the truth – as the aircraft manufacturer said it themselves, that when Emirates lowered the number of its orders for the A380, the program was not sustainable anymore. But even so, the A380 had a number of other problems.
Anyway, we hope Emirates regains it’s from and climbs back on top of the list!
Emirates Boeing 777
3. ANA – All Nippon Airways
Featured as the airline with one of the most beautiful special liveries in the world, the airline is also known amongst flyers for its one-of-a-kind customer experience.
Also being a 5-star airline, All Nippon Airways has kept its spot it earned in 2017. ANA kept climbing the ladder, being 7th in 2015, and going up every single year. The exception, of course, is 2018. The airline finished in its highest ever finish on the Best Airlines of 2018 list.
However, we think 2019 might be another chance for the airline to climb a bit higher. Because Airbus will deliver the new, turtle-like Airbus A380, to ANA. It will be the first Super Jumbo in the Japanese carrier’s fleet.
ANA Pokemon Boeing 747
2. Qatar Airways
Joining the “4-time winner” club, Qatar Airways, unfortunately, had to cede its positions as the best airline in the world to the winner we will announce soon.
On the other hand, the airline’s representatives shouldn’t be saddened by the 2nd place. Their patience, hard work into making one of the best airlines in the world did not go by unnoticed by the people. Established 26 years ago, it has managed to grow to an exceptional level of comfort, luxury and most importantly, quality. Qatar Airways is definitely an example of how much can you do when someone puts in the effort.
Qatar Airways claimed second on the Best Airlines Of 2018 list
1. Singapore Airlines
Known for its exceptional luxurious cabins for passengers, there is not much surprise there that Singapore Airlines has claimed the number one spot on the Best Airlines of 2018 list.
The reasons are pretty obvious. The airline provides exceptional quality to its passengers. Furthermore, its main hub, Singapore Changi International Airport is known for its magical and entertaining exhibitions throughout the years. It even has its own amusement park for goodness sake. Additionally, recently the airport decorated its Terminals with various Harry Potter memorabilia and moments from the films.
As just recently we have discussed the most beautiful regular aircraft liveries, this time we are taking it up a notch. We are going to reveal what we think are the most beautiful special aircraft liveries that airlines have used ever since the beginning of aviation. Airlines paint an aircraft in a special livery to commemorate their birthdays or mark an important date in their history. To celebrate national holidays or to raise awareness towards a cause.
Whatever the case might be, a special livery leaves us starstruck when we get a chance to see one in an airport. Because an opportunity to see a special livery might present itself only once, as these liveries are rare!
Nevertheless, here are the top 10 aircraft that airlines have decorated with a special livery!
10. Embraer – Profit Hunter Special Livery
First up is Embraer. Yes, the aircraft manufacturer! To introduce its new E190-E2 regional jet, the company has decided to advertise the aircraft in a very unique way.
Embraer nicknamed the new jet “Profit Hunter”. The idea is that is so effective, that it hunts down profits like a shark. The jet went on a tour in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, catching looks everywhere it goes. The Brazilian manufacturer set out a goal to increase the awareness of the new jet.
Needless to say, the plan has worked. The Shark turned heads round everywhere it went.
Sadly, we as passengers would not be able to fly the “Profit Hunter”. Embraer used the livery to advertise their jets and no airline uses it commercially.
Nevertheless, the special livery is definitely one of the most interesting marketing solutions.
Embraer E190 Profit Hunter Special Livery
9. South African Airways – Boeing 747 Ndizani Livery
South African Airways painted the Queen Of The Skies to commemorate the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Jumbo Jet carried the hopes of South Africa to new heights. South African Airways called it the Ndziani – flying to new heights.
Decorated in the colors of the flag of South Africa, you can also see the silhouettes of people. As for the Jumbo Jet carrying hopes of the nation, South Africa won 5 medals in total in Atlanta. Suffice to say, the Boeing 747 definitely did help!
Unfortunately, South African Airways retired the 747 in 2004. The airline scrapped the jet for parts and metal in 2008. So, another special aircraft that none of us would be able to fly or see anymore.
That fact makes us sad, as the plane looks absolutely stunning in this livery!
South African Airways Ndizani Boeing 747
8. Qantas – Boeing 747 Nalanji Dreaming Livery
For over 20 years now, Qantas has honored indigenous Australians with special liveries on their aircraft. The airline released the first of 5 designs in 1994, painting a Boeing 747 in the Wunala Dreaming special livery.
A year later, Qantas dedicated another Boeing 747 to celebrate the heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This time, the airline called the livery Nalanji Dreaming. Nalanji means Our Place.
And this livery has absolutely won a place in our hearts, as it is absolutely dreamy!
Qantas Nalanji Dreaming Boeing 747
Again, Qantas retired the 747 Jumbo in 2005, meaning you won’t see it in the sky anytime soon.
7. Hi Fly – Airbus A330 Turn The Tide On Plastic Livery
Hi Fly, a charter airline based in Portugal. To raise awareness against plastic floating in the world’s oceans, the airline cooperated with a Portuguese boat with the same name as the livery. The boat competed in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-2018, finishing 5th in the competition.
The airline painted the aircraft differently in each side. On the dark blue side, the ocean is portrayed as polluted and dirty. The other side is a clean and plastic-free ocean, painted in a lighter shade of blue.
Both the airline and the boat are raising awareness on a very important issue. Plastic pollution in oceans has already had a lot of negative impact on the wildlife that roams the waters of the Earth.
Fortunately, you can still see this plane flying around the world. Though the airline has no regularly scheduled flights, as it operates charter services.
Hi Fly Turn The Tide On Plastic Special Livery
6. EVA Air – Airbus A320 Hello Kitty Livery
The Taiwanese airline partnered with Sanrio, the Japanese company responsible for Hello Kitty and other characters to create magic liveries. EVA Air launched the first Hello Kitty aircraft in 2005.
Complementing the livery, the airline also offers Hello Kitty service. The service provides passengers with more Sanrio characters’ items, such as pillows, cookies, seat covers and special in-flight entertainment. Currently, in the air, there are 7 aircraft with the Hello Kitty livery. They exclusively fly to Japanese, South East Asian and North American destinations.
So, if you are planning to visit Taiwan during the coming days, try to spot one of these beauties! Better yet if you get the chance to fly on one!
EVA Air Hello Kitty Airbus A320
5. WestJet – Boeing 737 Disney Magic Plane Livery
WestJet teamed up with WestJet Vacations and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts to unveil this special livery.
The Canadian airline revealed the Boeing 737 aircraft in 2013, with a debut flight from Calgary to Orlando, Florida. Orlando is the home of Walt Disney’s Resort. After its first flight, the 737 began flying all throughout WestJet’s destination network, including flights to and from Orlando.
A few fun facts about this special livery: The painters used a total of 36 different colors and it took them 24 days to paint the aircraft. For some reason, WestJet also pointed out the fact that the crew consumed 150 doughnuts when they painted the Boeing aircraft.
Good news is that the aircraft is included in WestJet’s destination network. So, the chances to see or fly one are quite high!
WestJet Disney Magic Plane Boeing 737
4. Icelandair – Boeing 757 Hekla Aurora Livery
Northern Lights tourism is very popular in the northern countries of Europe. Iceland is specifically known for the natural phenomena that occur when the sun‘s particles hit Earth‘s magnetic field.
Icelandair launched the Hekla Aurora and Vatnajökull liveries to promote tourism to the island. The airline is especially promoting the Icelandic Stopover. The Icelandic Stopover is a term that travelers popularised in the 1960s when aircraft still needed to refuel to fly across the Atlantic. They would usually stop in Newfoundland or in Iceland.
Together with the breath-taking livery, Icelandair also decorated the ceiling of the aircraft to mimic the Northern Lights while in-flight.
Hekla Aurora Icelandair Boeing 757
3. All Nippon Airways – Boeing 747 Pokémon Livery
ANA or All Nippon Airways caught the Pokémon hype bug before it was cool! They introduced the Pokémon special livery in 1998, on a Boeing 747. From 1998 till 2016, a total of 9 aircraft carried the anime livery.
Anyhow, ANA painted one more of their 747s in May of 2004. And the all-yellow Queen is our favorite out of all the 9 Pokémon aircraft! The Jumbo features such Pokémon as Celebi, Pikachu, Latias, Mudkip, Pichu and many more.
ANA Pokemon Boeing 747
Sadly, the aircraft was retired in the late months of 2013. ANA retired the Pokémon liveries completely in 2016 when they repainted their Boeing 777 jet. The Triple-Seven flies till this day with the registration number JA754A.
2. Brussels Airlines – Airbus A320 Belgian Icons Liveries
If you are looking for a way to represent your national identity and take pride in the creative work of your fellow countrymen, your best example is right here. Brussels Airlines has 5 aircraft painted in liveries dedicate to celebrate various Belgian cultural icons.
Rejoicing the Smurfs, the festival Tomorrowland, the comic hero Tintin, the Belgian artist René Magritte and the national football team of Belgium, the 5 Airbus A320 jets simply look fantastic.
The best news is that you can still spot these aircraft all around Europe! However, hurry up, as Brussels Airlines won’t keep the Tintin livery past 2020. The airline plans the other 4 liveries will stay till 2022-2023.
Brussels Airlines Special Livery
Brussels Airlines Belgian Icons Airbus A320
1. All Nippon Airways – Boeing 7×7 Star Wars Liveries
ANA stunned the whole aviation world yet again by releasing a set of gorgeous liveries dedicated to the Star Wars franchise. The airline painted 4 aircraft to celebrate the wonderful film franchise.
There are 4 different aircraft:
R2-D2 ANA Jet
BB-8 ANA Jet
C-3PO ANA Jet
Star Wars ANA Jet
Including the 4 dazzling Boeing jets, the Japanese airline also created a very thorough website dedicated to the whole campaign, which you can check out here. The Star Wars themed aircraft fly on various international and domestic routes to and from Japan.
And they might be not the most striking liveries out there, but our inner Star Wars said that they are! Thus, they are on top of this list.
To sum up, that covers the top 10 most beautiful special liveries on various aircraft around the world. Have we missed any of your favorites? Share them below!
Another One Bites The Dust – Germania Declares Bankruptcy
Seems like this winter season has claimed another victim. With numerous airlines already struggling financially and airlines such as Primera Air, Cobalt Air and Small Planet Airlines ceasing all operations during this past year, a difficult year continues to put the industry under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, another airline declared insolvency – Germania.
A Rich Germania History
The now-bankrupt airline started its operations 31 years ago. The airline, called Special Air Transport at the time, was based at Cologne, Germany. In 1986, following a restructurization process, the airline changed its name to Germania. Primarily focusing on providing charter services for airlines such as TUI and Condor, later on, the carrier started shifting its focus to direct sales. Germania moved its main office to Berlin Tegel Airport in 1992. Afterward, in 2003 Germania started offering direct flight tickets to passengers under Germania Express or gexx.
An abrupt pause halted their direct scheduled flights in 2005, because of gexx’s merger with DBA. After a 3 year pause, Germania once again began offering scheduled flights from their bases in Berlin and Düsseldorf. Ambitious plans followed in 2015 when the airline announced it would retire it’s Boeing 737’s and replace them with the Airbus A320 family aircraft. That process was due to being in 2019 and finish in 2020.
Nevertheless, just as 2018 ended, Germania reported heavy losses for the fifth year in a row. The airline’s owners were looking for potential buyers for the airline, as the losses were too much to handle. However, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared just in time. On the 10th of January, 2019 the airline’s CEO, Karsten Balke wrote a letter to its employees stating that there were positive discussions going on with potential investors to keep the airline going.
Germania’s Boeing 737
Sadly, the deal must’ve fallen through. As suddenly the company announced its insolvency and that is ceasing all operations as of February 5th, 2019.
The airline stated that increasing fuel prices, the weakening Euro against the US Dollar, delays with aircraft deliveries and an absurd amount of maintenance events required for their aircraft contributed to the insolvency.
At the time of its bankruptcy, the airline offered flights to over 40 destinations with a fleet of 28 aircraft. It also has 2 subsidiaries, one in Bulgaria and one in Switzerland. Karsten Balke announced that Bulgarian Eagle and Germania Flug brands are not going to be affected by the insolvency. Despite the bankruptcy, those brands will continue operating as normal. On the other hand, its maintenance company Germania Technik and Germania Flugdienst are also going down under.
The CEO of the company, Karsten Balke said this: “Unfortunately, we were ultimately unable to bring our financing efforts to cover a short-term liquidity need to a positive conclusion. We very much regret that consequently, our only option was to file for insolvency. It is, of course, the impact that this step will have on our employees that we regret the most. All of them as a team always did their best to secure reliable and stable flight operations – even in the stressful weeks behind us. I would like to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. I apologize to our passengers who now cannot take their Germania flight as planned.”
Karsten Balke, Germania CEO
What about my flight tickets?
The airline announced that passengers who booked travel packages with Germania’s flights can contact their travel agencies. Subsequently, they will offer an alternative airline to travel with.
For those who purchased tickets from Germania, unfortunately, the airline will not provide any solutions. Speaking about compensations for canceled flights, the carrier has not posted any news regarding this.
As for pilots? Well, do not let your head down. Opportunities are all around you to advance your career further. If you want those opportunities not to be scattered around and in one place, we recommend attending Pilot Career Show events.
Delta Airlines Flight 47 Canceled Over Drunk Co-Pilot
It seems like we almost had another Denzel Washington story come to life. The Dutch authorities have stopped Delta Airlines Flight 47 from taking off from Amsterdam Schiphol airport. The Boeing 767-400 was supposed to take off at 9:15 AM and land in New York at 10:00 AM.
However, at first, Dutch authorities delayed the flight as the Amsterdam Schiphol workers pulled the first officer aside as customers boarded the plane. At 9:51 AM, Delta Airlines canceled the flight to New York. Officials were worried that the co-pilot was too intoxicated to operate the Delta Airlines Flight 47. After the pilot took the breathalyzer test, the Dutch police had to detain the first officer, as he was over the legal limit to operate an aircraft. The Dutch police fined the 51-year old pilot €3.400 Euros, which equals to about $3,850 USD.
The Dutch media have reported that the first officer was three times over the legal to operate an aircraft. To illustrate, most airlines do not allow any crew members to drink 10 hours before they have to operate a flight.
For example, in the United States, the legal limit is 0.04%. On the other hand, a lot of countries have a strict no tolerance rule. Thus, you cannot have any alcohol in your blood before your flight. NL Times has confirmed that the pilot in question “had 270 micrograms of alcohol per liter of breath.”
Delta Airlines Aircraft At Amsterdam Schiphol
Anyhow, Delta canceled the flight at first because of mechanical issues. Later on, Delta changed the reason and confirmed it was a crew duty issue. Albeit the airline did not specify that it was because of the fact that one of their pilots was too intoxicated to operate the flight.
Delta Airlines provided the passengers on the Delta Flight 47 with alternative tickets to New York with “Delta’s apologies for the inconvenience.”
I remember the multiple times in my childhood when I kept asking my mom for a dog or a cat. Who will walk the dog? Who will clip its nails? Who will clean out the litter box? And many other questions that I would always respond with an enthusiastic “YES!“, as I wanted a pet badly. As I grew up older and older, another question came up – What to do with my cat or dog when I’m traveling? Who will take care of it?
And there are numerous options what to do when you’re traveling away from home. Dog hotels, hiring a caretaker or transferring the burden, albeit a cute one, to your friend are amongst the choices. These are the most common that people resort to. However, sometimes there is no other option and you have to fly with your pet. While it can be quite a difficult procedure, here are the top 10 tips to that will help you out when you’re flying with your pet!
10. Can your pet fly?
Firstly, make sure your pet is able to fly. That means making sure that your dog or cat won’t experience extreme stress when flying or the airline that you wish to fly with even accepts pets.
For example, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines and many other American airlines changed their policies regarding Emotional Support Animals. Your pets’ size, age and the duration of the flight are all factors that you have to account for. If your pet can be aggressive or might pee in the cabin accidentally, you might be better off flying without him.
To sum up, make sure you read all the rules before taking on the journey with your fluffy partner. If you’re still unsure whether your pet can travel with your airline of choice, make sure to call them and ask them. This way, you can be 100% sure that your four-legged buddy can fly with you!
9. Where should your pet fly?
If you have a small dog or a cat and its crate can fit under the seat, you can take him with you into the cabin. However, be careful as there a lot of rules if you want to take your pet into the cabin. Check up with the airline of your choice what the exact restrictions for pets in cabins are.
Some airlines offer the chance for your pet to travel in the cargo area. Some aircraft have dedicated cargo holds for pets. Their conditions there are the same as in the cabin you will be sitting in, thus you won’t have to worry about your pets’ well-being.
However, be careful. Airlines charge extra when you travel with pets in the cargo area.
Dogs In Airplane
8. Notify the airline in advance
To illustrate, airlines require you to book for your pet in advanced. Meaning when you book your ticket, immediately book a ticket or a cargo space for your pet as well. As there are limited spaces on an aircraft for pets, make sure there is still some capacity available!
Another thing to consider is that you have to be even earlier in the airport than usually. For example, Alaska Airlines requires you to be an hour earlier than you would usually be at the airport.
So, just leave enough time before departing!
7. Get a proper crate
Be certain that not only your pet is comfortable in his crate, but that it also fits the dimensions laid out by the airline that you’re flying with.
If you put your pet in the designated cargo area, the allowed dimensions for its crate are much bigger. So, if you have a bigger pet you can get a crate that would not encourage discomfort. But, if you carry your pet into the cabin, airlines require the cage and the animal not to weigh more than 20 – 25 kilograms. Also, the crate must fit the required dimensions. If it’s too large – you have to pay more or store the crate into the cargo area, unfortunately.
6. A health certificate
Some airlines do require one, some do not. But just to be assured and to make sure your pet can actually travel, go get a health certificate from a veterinarian. It will not cost a lot, but it will save you time and potentially, money.
Also, some airlines require that the health pass was done maximum 10 days before your departure. Plan your vet visit before you travel and avoid any unnecessary problems. It will prove to the airline you’re traveling with that your pet has all the required vaccinations done to him and that he is safe to travel in the cabin.
5. Take them for a walk or tire them out
Just before your flight, get them to be tired – they will just calmly sleep through the flight. Because of the extra-long walk or an intense playtime with your beloved fluffy friend, he might be just too tired to worry about things.
It will just fall asleep during the flight. Consequently making sure the flight is much calmer for the both of you!
4. Bring a treat!
A lot of treats! Flying can and probably will be stressful towards your pet. So making sure that he remains as relaxed as possible is key to a comfortable journey for everyone involved.
Bring toys, blankets and other items that might make your dog or cat comfortable. Have they got a favorite toy? Be sure to take it with you! Were they calm and did not do anything wrong? Make sure you reward them to make flying more comfortable in the future.
Dogs In Aircraft
3. But do not overfeed them.
Just before you take off for the airport, try and not to give them water or feed them.
Why? So that your pet won’t have the urge to relieve itself on the cabin floor and avoid you being uncomfortable for the rest of the flight.
2. After you exit your flight
Take them for a short walk! Both of you need it – your pet was sleeping in a confined space and you were sitting for quite a long time. Stretch and grab some fresh air! Be prepared for the most important step of your journey and meet the new destination with a smile on your faces.
1. Most importantly…
Enjoy your travels! Traveling broadens your mind, lets you meet new places and people. It lets your pet experience new things as well.
So, while some airlines might be more pet friendlier than others, after clearing all of the required procedures there’s only thing left to do. Just relax and admire the new place that you and your furry best friend have just landed in!
If It Ain’t Boeing – I Ain’t Going. The Iconic Boeing 707 Story
If it ain’t Boeing – I ain’t going is quite a bold statement. However, consider the context at the time. This was the beginning of the jet age – with the de Havilland Comet becoming a synonym for “mid-air explosion”, the Boeing 707 came at the right time. Douglas and SUD were lagging behind and introduced their DC-8 and Caravelle jet aircraft a year later than the 707. The Tupolev Tu-104 was behind the iron curtain. Because of this, it had no chance to impact anything culturally outside the Soviet sphere of influence. Thus, this allowed the Boeing 707 to become an icon and symbol of a new and revolutionary way of travel.
Culturally, October 17th, 1958 was the day that the jet age began in the minds of everyone. Or maybe restarted?
Anyhow, let’s roll back a bit and conceptualize what are the reasons why the 707 become such an icon.
A Jet Engine.
The first reason was that the Boeing 707 was a jetliner. At the time, the only commercial jets were flying behind the Iron Curtain. The de Havilland Comet was grounded after a series of crashes. That is why, when Boeing 707 introduced a reliable and safe jet-powered aircraft, it certainly did change the way we travel.
As I have previously already talked about the jet engines and the reasons why they will definitely replace piston jets in the Tupolev Tu-104 story, I won’t go too much into detail. To summarize, there were three reasons:
Piston-powered engines were coming to their maximum as to how much power they can produce. To squeeze more, engineers made them more complex and that is the reason why maintenance costs shot up. Fuel consumption to engine power ratio was not ideal either;
Passenger comfort. Piston engines are loud, they vibrate a lot (especially on a plane like the Constellation with 4 piston engines) and generally make passengers uncomfortable. With the price tag at the time for a ticket, they certainly did not provide a luxurious experience;
The demand for trans-Atlantic flights has risen significantly. While Piston props could theoretically do trans-Atlantic flights, they usually had to stop to refuel. Their cruising speed was slow, so the flights took much longer than with jet engines.
Pratt & Whitney JT3D Boeing 707 Jet Engines
Laying Down The Foundations
One of the most important facts to know is that Boeing risked everything with the new 707. It was literally a make it or break it situation. The current Boeing company president at the time, William Allen, committed $16 million to develop 367-80. The money was everything that the company had earned after the war. So, if the 367 was a bust – the company would go bust as well. Subsequently, the public nicknamed it the “Dash 80“. The 367 was an early Boeing 707 and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker prototype.
Boeing’s strategy was simple – change the general perception that jet aircraft were unsafe. So, they developed and built the 367-80 to go on a tour around the United States to prove to the public and CEOs of Airlines alike that a jet-powered aircraft can be safe while showcasing a flying example. You got to hand it to Boeing – if the aircraft were to fail during these demonstration flights, the company was gone. However, they did a brilliant job of designing and building it and it encountered no issues after preliminary taxi and flight tests. After engineers completed the early designs in 1952, Boeing decision-makers approved it. Just two years later, in July of 1954, the 367-80 commenced its first flight.
Boeing, like all others, had an advantage – they knew the structural problems of the de Havilland Comet. Nevertheless, you mustn’t forget that Boeing also built military aircraft. Like the Russians with the Tu-104, Boeing also used their experience from the B-47 Stratojet to build the new 367-80.
Do A Barrel Roll
August 6th, 1955 was a huge day for Boeing. In Seafair, an event held in Seattle, William Allen invited AIA and IATA members to show them the new jet.
This was crucial for the future success of the 707. If those 2 associations approve it, then there was nothing to stop the new Boeing jet from entering commercial service. As the company already secured orders for the KC 135 Stratotankers, it was crucial to do so for the 707 as well.
And one man made sure that the members of AIA and IATA would approve it. While doing a casual fly over, test pilot Alvin Johnston performed two barrel rolls. It might not have been the smartest decision to do so, the pilot later said he was just “selling airplanes”. While you cannot certainly say that the barrel roll sold the aircraft to customers, but it definitely made an impact.
Boeing 367-80 NASA Picture
While the Comet was the first commercial jet that started service, people wanted to forget about it. As quickly as possible. So when Boeing, a well-known manufacturer in the United States, kicked the door open with it‘s 707, it instantly became a hit. Not only commercially for Boeing, but notably, it became an American cultural icon.
Even so much so, that Frank Sinatra bought his own 707. His “Come Fly With Me” album cover showed an aircraft, albeit a Lockheed Constellation. However, whenever someone heard the “Come Fly With Me” song, they imagined a Boeing 707 in front of their eyes. What is even crazier, that Jantzen, a swimwear company, used the Boeing 707 to advertise their newest swimwear collection in 1957.
Jantzen 707 collection
Pan American Airways released a short-movie about the new jet and called it “The Wonderful Jet World of Pan-American.”
Boeing 707 – a commercial success
It became a cultural icon for a good reason – airlines also loved it. In total, Boeing built 856 Seven O’ Seven jets. Airlines bought 725, while Air Force units used the rest of the 707s.
Pan American Airways introduced the Boeing 707 on October 17th, 1958. Pan Am held a christening event, which the current president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, attended. A special inaugural flight from Baltimore to Paris followed. Friends of Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan Am, occupied the seats onboard the flight. 9 days later, on October 26th, Pan Am started passenger operations from New York to Paris, with a fuel stop in Newfoundland.
The jet was not popular only inside the American market. Qantas started flying the 707 in 1959 and was the first international airline to do so. Many more followed Qantas and bought their first jets. El Al, BOAC, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Aer Lingus and Lufthansa were amongst the long list of 707 customers.
As I mentioned above, Air Force’s used the 707s in various military specifications. Even today, 61 years after its launch, the Boeing 707 military units use it as a transport or a reconnaissance aircraft.
Regarding its safety record, aviation experts regard the 707 as a safe aircraft. Although accidents destroyed 173 Boeing 707 aircraft completely, pilots never complained about the difficulty of flying the jet. Nor it had any major structural issues like the de Havilland Comet did.
Too Good For Its Own Good
As public confidence grew, so did the passenger numbers for airlines operating the 707. Airlines could not keep up with the demand and Boeing had to come up with new variants to satisfy their customer needs. Qantas received a long-range model, while Braniff International got special 707s to fly in the high altitudes of South America.
As a result of trying to satisfy everyone’s needs, Boeing did not make a lot of profit off of the 707. Although it was commercially successful amongst airlines, the constant modifications made the program costly. However, the 707 laid the foundations for the further success of the company. As I said that airlines could not cope with the demand, the 707 eventually developed into the Queen of the Skies. So, while indirectly, the 707 still brought a profit to Boeing when the aircraft convinced airlines that Boeing built great jets.
And the Boeing 707 was good. In fact so good, that John Travolta even bought one. Qantas previously used the airline for regular service, when John Travolta purchased it. A few years ago he donated it to Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Australia.
John Travolta Boeing 707
Furthermore, numerous countries still use the 707s in their Air Force, while the last commercial 707 crashed just two weeks ago.
To sum up, what the 707 did for aviation would be difficult and would require me a lot of additional words. But in an effort to keep it as short as possible, I will say this – the 707 was a huge risk that paid off for Boeing. And not only it did push the company forward, but it also pushed every other aircraft manufacturer forward to innovate, strive for greatness and be daring. The Boeing 707 brought revived the dream of jet aviation.
The Day That 4 American Legacy Carriers Went Bankrupt
September 14th, 2005 was truly a unique day for the United States’ aviation industry. That day Delta and moments later Northwest filed for bankruptcy in court. This put the air space above America in an exceptional position – 4 airlines were flying under Bankruptcy protections.
Delta, Northwest, US Airways and United Airlines carried half of the passengers in the United States. All 4 of them were also operating under the protection of Chapter 11, just not to get dissolved by creditors. But how did it get to this point, that 4 of the biggest 6 American airlines were in such dire financial straits?
Well, long story short, a lot of factors contributed to that fact. 2005 for the airline industry was the time, where anything that could have gone wrong literally went wrong.
If you‘re here for the long story, well then strap in! Because we‘re going to take it step by step and analyze each individual case for every airline. Then, we will try to sum up why did things go so south.
American Legacy Carriers
Legacy Carrier? Chapter 11? What?
In the previous chapter I have mentioned two very specific terms that some of you might not know of. If you do know them, just skip down a bit and we’ll meet in a bit.
First of all, let’s start out with what is a Legacy Carrier. A term that is unique to the United States, an airline is defined as a Legacy carrier when it has had established domestic routes before the aviation deregulation act of 1978. Another characteristic that defines a legacy carrier is that it offers additional services compared to a low-cost carrier. If a low-cost carrier makes money by squeezing every penny for food and priority boarding, then a legacy carrier runs on a completely different business model. If, for example, you purchase a ticket from Delta, you get a meal on a long flight and you can get a seat in first or business class.
Secondly, Chapter 11 is a part of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 permits organizations, such as airlines, to restructure their business while they face financial struggles. Let’s use an airline as an example. If a fictional airline called Big Earth Airlines had a lot of debt and it filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, then it would have the chance to take out new loans or talk with investors. It also would have the chance to cut costs – end leasing agreements, cut its workforce, or lower wages. Any profit made by the airline would firstly go to the new investors, then the carrier.
Another thing why Chapter 11 is unique – an airline is protected from anyone that they owe money to. Thus, it can operate as normal while restructuring the company.
So, with that out of the way let’s take ourselves back to September 14th, 2005.
Delta already had big issues in its finances. For 5 years already it has not returned a single profitable quarter. The company was in a very bad situation.
A week before declaring bankruptcy, Delta sold off its subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines. The airline did not cut pilots’ wages until 2004, when it finally held successful negotiations with its pilot union, while also constantly cutting jobs. The total amount of lost jobs summed up to be over 24.000.
And those were not the only cost-saving measures the company employed. It started outsourcing such operations as aircraft maintenance and reducing flights from its Cincinnati hub. Delta also got rid of its pension plans, just to save more money.
Analysts forecasted that Delta’s financial situation would get better only in 2007. In the end, Delta survived its crisis. The company eventually became the second largest carrier in the United States in 2018.
The fourth-largest carrier at the time, Northwest declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy just minutes after Delta Airlines.
What was unique to Northwest’s situation was that its mechanics were already on strike for a whole month. Northwest pushed their mechanics to go on strike – with proposed 25% wage cuts to reduce costs. As disagreements surfaced, the airline hired 1.200 replacement workers to keep operations going.
However, this is where irony strikes. Looking back, economists agreed that Northwest was in a much better place financially than Delta. Simply put, it had more cash reserve. Michael Boyd, an airline consultant said that Northwest “Doesn’t have any structure problems. Its route system is golden, it’s bulletproof.” In hindsight, they were right at the time – they were simply stating facts. However, as time showed, Delta emerged as the winner. Northwest made a deal with Delta in 2008 to merge together into one, with the Northwest brand going away forever.
US Airways forces us to go back even more in time – it filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in 2002. The airline was hit the hardest by the September 11 attacks.
To illustrate, other airlines were fairly okay, because they had bases all over the United States. So did US Airways. However, one of its main bases was in Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C. The airport remained closed the longest after the attacks and when it reopened, it had a lot of restrictions placed on it. Such as a ban on aircraft that have more than 156 seats. And while the security measures were lifted in 2002, it was a little bit too late for the legacy carrier.
In spite of this, we have to remember how CEOs ran US Airways. For the past few years, the airline posted just one profitable quarter. In 2000, United Airlines almost purchased the troubled airline, but federal regulators denied that motion. Yet it had one big issue – its prices and routes. While it’s a legacy carrier by its prices, its routes definitely were not. The carrier was being swallowed up by low-cost airlines such as Southwest.
Management of US Airways attempted to save the company. The top management personnel took a 20% pay cut, with pilots and flight attendants following suit. The airline also tried to end leases on over 300 aircraft but was having difficulties doing so.
Luckily for the airline, it managed to secure an investment from the Texas Pacific Group. US Airways also received a $1 billion government bailout to secure its future.
However, after emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, a year later US Airways went bankrupt again. This resulted in the merger between US Airways and America West Airlines. Luckily for US Airways, their brand had better recognition worldwide. Because of this, US Airways stayed alive. Nevertheless, the US Airways brand went down under in 2015 after a merger with American Airlines. Its last flight was on the 16 of October 2015.
The same year as US Airways, United Airlines also filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. At the time, this was huge news for the aviation industry. United was the largest airline to declare bankruptcy while also being one of the 10 largest bankruptcies in US history. While the airlines mentioned above had accumulated a lot of debt, United was very deep in trouble. As they declared bankruptcy on the 9th of December, 2002, their daily costs were between $20 and $22 million in that month alone. In January United expected to reduce their costs to $10-15 million. Normally, the company would run itself on $7-8 million per day. United said they expected to lose $2.5 billion in 2002!
United compromised itself when they tried to buy US Airways in 2000. To persuade pilots to agree with the deal, United raised pilots’ wages significantly. But the company could not avoid strikes before the deal was struck. As a result of the pilot and mechanics strikes, United had to cancel a lot of flights.
In the end, after over 4 years of bankruptcy, United Airlines was finally operating normally. The Legacy Carrier is currently the 4th largest American airline, so it’s safe to say that United ended up okay.
United Airlines Boeing 747
But why all the bankruptcies?
So, after going through every legacy carrier’s situation, one question stands.
How did it all come to this?
And the answer can be split up into three parts:
Firstly, the September 11 attacks.
As I mentioned previously, US Airways had the most trouble out of all the legacy carriers as a result. However, the whole industry suffered massively. And the numbers back it up:
2000, airlines carried 665 million passengers;
2001, the number dropped to 622 million;
2002, the number kept falling. The result for the year was 598 million passengers;
2003, the industry was at its lowest – it carried 588 million passengers.
The United States aviation industry lost more than 77 million passengers traveling through its routes. Those are massive losses and this has contributed to the airline bankruptcies across the United States. The airlines had to cover these losses with their own cash savings. And as a result, the two other factors were the last nail to the coffin.
Secondly, Jet Fuel.
In January of 1999, one gallon of jet fuel (3.7 liters) cost $33 cents. At the end of the year, it doubled. In 2000 the price saw several huge spikes in the months of autumn. Ultimately it increased to $86 cents.
So the massive increase of price contributed to the bankruptcy filings of United and US Airways. However, Delta and Northwest got the bad end of the stick here. When they declared bankruptcy in December of 2005, one gallon of jet fuel cost $1.73. The cost of fuel tripled in a span of 6 years. Considering the fact that the airlines were increasing their destination numbers and consequently increasing their fuel demand, this was detrimental. United and US Airways were already reducing their costs, so they were prepared for the later increasing costs of fuel.
Thirdly, Labor costs.
The airlines increased their wages just prior to their bankruptcies. However, this was not the biggest issue.
Pensions were. At one point, United Airlines terminated their pension costs and saved $6.4 billion. US Airways did the same, saving $600 million in the process. At the time of bankruptcy, Northwest had a $3.8 billion debt in pensions alone. The pension plans while generous, but they were one of the reasons for the downfall of the airlines.
In order to reduce such huge labor bills, airlines reduced the wages of everyone, including the top management. The Legacy Carriers also had to cut a ton of jobs, with Delta alone firing 24.000 employees.
All in all, the early 2000s were disastrous for every Legacy Carrier in the US. While some managed to escape bankruptcy, as did American Airlines, but everyone felt the downturn in the industry. It showcases that while working in aviation is a dream for a lot of us, it can also be a brutal thing to be a part of.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Airline Liveries Of All Time
Sometimes it seems like the current liveries in the air are quite bland. A white fuselage with a colored tail and engine covers and winglets is the magic formula for airlines. And while there is a good reason why this is done, as paint can add quite a few pounds to the aircraft, we would wish there would be more livery variety nowadays.
But there are airlines which have kept their unique and magnificent liveries from the very first pages of aviation‘s history. Therefore, we present the top 10 most beautiful airline liveries of all time!
However, keep in mind these are not special liveries that airlines use to celebrate an occasion. These are your regular, scheduled flight liveries that you can or could have seen anywhere around the world!
10. Pan Am
Now I know my words will sound quite ironic, as Pan Am’s livery is literally a white fuselage with a colored logo on its tail. But hear me out – the livery is one of the most iconic liveries of all time. And not only because of the paint scheme. Pan Am was a huge airline at its peak when unfortunately it went bankrupt. It was the largest air carrier in the United States and was the unofficial flag carrier of the country. Plus, at the time it was very uncommon to carry liveries such as these, as airlines opted to paint their aircraft with wild colors. Because of the simple, yet the iconic look of Pan Am aircraft, they will always be engraved into aviation history.
Pan Am Boeing 747
9. Northwest Airlines “Bowling Shoe”
In 1989, Northwest Airlines introduced a new livery after a merger with Republic Airlines. Nicknamed “Bowling Shoe” by its employees, the paint scheme was designed by Landor Associates. The aircraft were painted in 3 different colors: Red, Grey and White at the bottom. The three colors are an excellent match and they have managed to create an incredible looking aircraft. Add a Boeing 747 into the mix, and you have a look that is going to withstand the trial of time. Unfortunately, Northwest used this livery only until 2003, when they switched to a more traditional look.
Northwest Airlines Boeing 747
8. Aer Lingus old livery
Just last week Aer Lingus announced and showcased their new livery. The paint job received mixed reactions – some loved it, some hated it. Admittedly, we do not like it either. Simply put, the old livery had more “Irishness” to it. The green fuselage with the bright green shamrock on the tail truly represented Ireland around the world. As a livery of a flag carrier should do!
Old Aer Lingus Livery
The regional airline that was recently bought out by Virgin Atlantic has magnificent looking aircraft. While most of the airlines have a white fuselage with a colored tail, Flybe has done the opposite. A purple fuselage and a white tail with their logo have created a pretty simple, yet beautiful look. Hopefully, Flybe is here to stay – or at least their brand, as we will dearly miss their livery.
The low-cost carrier that was established by the creative spirit that was Herb Kelleher, who unfortunately passed very recently, has a livery that truly represents the company values. Daring, yet professional, Southwest’s blue, yellow and red livery has become recognizable all over the United States.
Southwest Boeing 737
5. Braniff International
If you thought Southwest’s livery is daring, wait till you see what Braniff International showed up in airports with. Established by the Braniff brothers, the airline always had brave marketing campaigns and business moves. It was only one of the 4 airlines that have operated a Concorde.
To get back to the point, in the 1960s, the president of the company at the time, Harding Lawrence, set out to change the public image of the company. He hired an advertising agency to do the job and the first thing to change was the livery. The campaign, dubbed “End of the Plain Plane”, definitely added a splash of color to the airline. Well, a lot of splashes. You might think that the airline started to use a unique, colorful livery for all of its aircraft. Where that is where you (and me) are wrong – Braniff International showed up with a different livery for every aircraft!
Braniff International Boeing 747
Braniff International Boeing 727
The iconic KLM bright blue livery has dominated the European skies since 1971. KLM introduced the historical livery to celebrate the introduction of new Boeing 747 aircraft. While throughout the years there were several alterations made to it, KLM kept the bright blue fuselage so far. Hopefully, it will never go away, as the livery is truly synonymous with KLM. While a new livery may lead the path towards modernization, like in Aer Lingus’ case, keeping your heritage is also important. Especially when you are called KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – royalty is all about keeping heritage!
KLM Embraer E190 with the updated livery
3. American Airlines Metallic Livery
The largest airline in the world currently and named the best airline in the world by ATW in 2017, American Airlines has a rich history of various liveries and branding images. While the current AA livery is definitely quite pleasing to look at, we love the old Metallic American Airlines paint scheme. Or rather, lack of paint. Before 2013, the airline was the only major American carrier with parts of aircraft left unpainted. There were 2 reasons why – the first one being the founder of American Airlines, C.R. Smith. He noted that he did not like painted aircraft and did not approve any liveries that painted the whole plane. The second reason was Robert Crandall. He defended the metallic finish of the aircraft because it saved the company money. As paint adds additional weight, flights require more fuel and thus flights are more expensive to run.
Whatever the reason might be, we love the metallic finish!
American Airlines Metallic Livery
American Airlines B757 - Metallic Livery - 16-OCT-16 EDI - YouTube
2. Pacific Southwest Airlines
Pacific Southwest Airlines or PSA for short definitely has the most wholesome livery of all. Simply looking at it makes your heart melt, as if the aircraft was a cute and fluffy dog. Add in the funky coloring of the fuselage and you’ve got yourself a livery that will remain forever in everyone’s hearts!
Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 757
1. Nok Air
A primarily domestic low-cost airline in Thailand, the carrier definitely lives up to its slogan. “We Fly Smiles” is perfectly portrayed on its aircraft. Or rather beaks, as Nok means bird in Thai and the logo of the airline is a smiling beak. Similarly to Braniff, Nok Air has a unique and one of a kind design and name to every aircraft. The unique, fun and beaky liveries not only fly smiles but make us smile as well!