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Colour me painted (D-G)


In general, airlines have a very defined corporate image, and colours.

There are some exemptions, for example Frontier in the United States. They paint a different animal in each tail.

Or Norwegian in Norway, they paint a different famous character.

But in general, they are very uniform and defined images.

Nonetheless, at times there are Airplanes that are painted with special colours for different reasons.

Those Airplanes are usually few. And from those, there isn’t always an associated campaign through which the public can know why that Airplane is painted in that way.

Many times the campaign isn’t even justified because it’s not a commercial matter.

Those of us inside this little world are very aware of their existence, but for the public seeing them may mean surprise, and at times, even confusion.

I remember being in Rionegro’s Airport once, and listening to the following dialogue:

-“She comes in Avianca”.
-“Ah, but that isn’t Avianca, it’s some Star Alliance”.
-“Yeah right? S-TAR-A-LLI-AN-CE. That’s so weird, she’s not coming there”.

Of course, it was Avianca, and the person was coming there. It’s just that it was one of the Airplanes painted with Star Alliance colours, the alliance Avianca belongs to.

Making of the archive of photos I’ve taken, it occurred to me to make this article to talk a little bit about the matter, and show you some examples that I’ve photographed of this practice.

So, let’s start with a simple list of reasons why an Airplane can have different colours than the rest of the fleet in a given moment.

This list isn’t exhaustive, I just decided to divide it this way arbitrarily. Even so, I think it’s fit for what I want to do with this article. So let’s do it.

ADVERTISING

Some airlines offer their Airplanes as flying billboards. This kind of agreement can happen in an Airplane that changes its colours totally.

Or it can happen with the installation of a sticker showing the product or service somewhere in the Airplane, but keeping the normal colours otherwise.

It can also happen because of specific events, such as the now traditional Coca-Cola Airplane with the FIFA World Cup trophy.

BY ASSOCIATION WITH SOME INSTITUTION, EVENT, OR SPORTS TEAM

Many times Airplanes have been painted with subjects alluding to some institution, or some sports team.

Like with the advertising, some times it’s about a sticker (big or small), and some times the whole Airplane changes its identity.

We could set as examples of this the Avianca Airbus A319 that had a sticker of the Colombian national football team, or the JetBlue A320 totally painted green with the Boston Celtics’ colours, a NBA team in the United States.

IN COMMEMORATION OF ANNIVERSARIES, OWN CAMPAIGNS, CELEBRATIONS, OR REMEMBERING PAST TIMES

These are some of my favourites.

The ones commemorating anniversaries are just that, the company just turned a determined number of years, and they painted some Airplane, or put some sticker to it.

The ones remembering past times are some of the ones I like the most. These are Airplanes they paint with colours the airline had many years ago, before the current corporate image. They’re called “retro-jets”.

There is a variation of this, it’s when the current airline is the result of the buy-out or merger with others.

Now and then they paint some Airplane with the colours of the airline that doesn’t exist anymore.

Also, when the airline is the first one to fly some type of Airplane, or any similar reason, they usually paint Airplanes with subjects alluding to that.

Some times, the airline makes a campaign that belongs to them only, and they paint the Airplane accordingly.

FOR OPERATIONAL REASONS

It happens at times that an airline acquires some second-hand Airplane that used to fly for another before.

Painting an Airplane is a time-consuming process and it’s not cheap, and an Airplane that isn’t flying is lost revenue.

So when an Airplane reaches in those conditions and is ready to fly, sometimes Airlines prefer to put it to fly without painting it, leaving a mix between the former airline’s colours, and the titles of the current.

It also happens when an airline is going to use an Airplane that belongs to another one for a short period, knowing beforehand it’s going to be like that.

In those cases, it can’t be financially justified to paint the whole Airplane, and in general they only change the titles and that’s it, since the Airplane will return to its original owner in short time.

That would mean a double painting job, with the costs it has in time and money, and since the operation is going to be for short time, they just leave it as it came, and only change the titles.

Those Airplanes are usually called “hybrids”, and some are really striking.

Another variation of this is leaving the Airplane only with the titles, and the rest without painting. It’s usually made when the Airplane is going to be returned to its owner, or was sold, or some other reason that may warrant it.

BELONGING TO A GLOBAL ALLIANCE

Some airlines belong to global alliances such as Star Alliance, OneWorld or SkyTeam.

Usually when belonging to any of those alliances, some Airplanes in the fleet are painted with colours alluding to the alliance.

BEING AN AIRPLANE IN EXHIBITION BY THE COMPANY THAT MAKES IT

Some Airplane makers such as Airbus, Boeing or Bombardier go to air fairs, events, and conventions worldwide such as Farnborough in the United Kingdom, or FIDAE in Chile, among others, to showcase their Airplanes’ capabilities.

Often, they find buyers there or close deals that were already being prepared, when they take their Airplanes to those events usually they paint them with the colours of the maker, that almost never are seen again in operation (even though there are some very interesting Boeing colour schemes flying with China Airlines).


After that little explanation, I want to show you some examples that I’ve been able to photograph.

Of course, this list is limited to what I’ve photographed (and some external links to photos of other people), but these practices exists since before I was born, and in many more places that I’ve been able to visit. That is, this is but a small sample.

The list will go by airline name in alphabetical order, and I will include some details of the pictures, and the reason of the colours if I know it.

I’ve divided the whole article in several lists so it doesn’t become so heavy. This is list D-G. In the menu in the beginning, or in the end, you will be able to browse toward the others.

I hope you like it.


DAT – Danish Air Transport (Denmark)

DAT – Danish Air Transport had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

DX
DAT - Danish Air Transport normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
ATR 42-300 | Registration: LY-ARI
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_8499.jpg

This ATR 42-300 had some simplified colours in comparison with the official colours of the moment, they were kind of white.


2.
Airplane:
ATR 72-200 | Registration: OY-RUD
Place in which I photographed: Copenhagen-Kastrup CPH | Date: June 2012

DSC_1083.jpg

Besides having simplified colours, this ATR 72-200 had a decal that said bornholmerflyet.dk.


Delta Air Lines (United States)

Delta Air Lines had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

DL
Delta Air Lines normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-200 | Registration: N708DN
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: May 2012

DSC_7357-1.jpg

If you take a good look at this Boeing 777-200, you will see it has something unusual on the nose.

That decal is the signature of David C. Garrett Jr, who was Delta Air Lines’ CEO from 1978 to 1987. He died in 2012, and they remembered him in Delta with that detail.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 767-300 | Registration: N175DZ
Place in which I photographed it: Santiago SCL | Date: April 2012

DSC_2658.jpg

Delta Air lines belongs to SkyTeam, and as a member, has this Boeing 767-300 painted with the colours of the alliance.


DHL Aviation (Germany, Australia, United Kingdom and others)

DHL Aviation had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

HJ
DHL Aviation normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 757-200F | Registration: VH-TCA
Place in which I photographed: Brisbane BNE | Date: Mayo de 2014

DSC_8133.jpg

DHL Aviation, through its Australian subsidiary, Tasman Cargo Airlines, was the official partner in logistics of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

To promote that, they put the sticker you see in the photo to this Boeing 757-200F.


Eastern Airways (United Kingdom)

Eastern Airways had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

T3
Eastern Airways normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Embraer 135 | Registration: G-CGMB
Place in which I photographed it: Munich MUC | Date: June 2012

DSC_3690.jpg

This Embraer 135 had the colours of the United Kingdom flag, the Union Jack.

They painted the Airplane like to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (that is, the 60 years) of Queen Elizabeth II ascension to the throne.

It also has a decal that says “BEST OF BRITISH 2012”.


EasyFly (Colombia)

EasyFly had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

VE
EasyFly normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
British Aerospace Jetstream 41 | Registration: HK-4551
Place in which I photographed it: Armenia AXM | Date: June 2009

IMG_1233.jpg

This Airplane landed in Colombia and was initially flown by Sarpa. They painted it blue there, as can be seen in this photo.

Later on, EasyFly began to fly it leaving the colours it had, and only changing the titles. It was the first hybrid of the airline.


2.
Airplane:
ATR 42-500 | Registration: HK-5219
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Olaya Herrera EOH | Date: January 2009

DSC_3892.jpg

Another EasyFly hybrid is this ATR 42-500 that flew before with Aeromar from Mexico.

They put EasyFly’s titles, and left the partial colours of the former airline. Click here to see it there.


3.
Airplane:
British Aerospace Jetstream 41 | Registation: HK-4867
Place in which I photographed it: Cartagena CTG | Date: March 2013

DSC_9839.jpg

The third EasyFly hybrid that I’ve photographed is this J-41 that flew before with United Express from the United States.

They put EasyFly’s titles, and left the former airline’s colours. Click here to see it there.

At the moment of writing this the Airplane has normal EasyFly colours.


4.
Airplane:
British Aerospace Jetstream 41 | Registration: HK-4775
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Olaya Herrera EOH | Date: March 2015

DSC_2242.jpg

The fourth EasyFly hybrid that I’ve photographed is this J-41 that flew before with Eastern Airways from the United Kingdom.

They put EasyFly’s colours, and left the former airline’s colours. Click here to see it there.

At the moment of writing this the Airplane has normal EasyFly colours.


El-Al (Israel)

El-Al had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

LY
El-Al normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 767-200 | Registration: 4X-EAD
Place in which I photographed it: Beijing-Capital PEK | Date: July 2008

IMG_8852.jpg

This El-Al Boeing 767-200 had a 2008 Olympic Games sticker.

I took the photo in Beijing from a waiting room, I don’t know whether it was a scheduled flight, or was transporting the Israeli delegation to the event.

IMG_8747.jpg

In this second photo the whole Airplane is seen, it’s a photo I took arriving in the Airport, from a Thai Airways Boeing 747-400. But the right side is seen there, and the sticker was only in the left side.


Emirates (United Arab Emirates)

Emirates had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

EK
Emirates normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A380-800 | Registration: A6-EDO
Place in which I photographed it: Melbourne-Tullamarine MEL | Date: August 2014

DSC_0815.jpg

The Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai, and to promote the event Emirates has put a sticker in several of their Airplanes, including this Airbus A380-800.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-300 | Registration: A6-ECC
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_0476.jpg

In the time of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, Emirates put stickers alluding to the event to several of their Airplanes, including this Boeing 777-300, as can be seen on the nose.


Estonian Air (Estonia)

Estonian Air had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

OV
Estonian Air normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Embraer 170 | Registration: ES-AEA
Place in which I photographed it: Copenhagen-Kastrup CPH | Date: June 2012

DSC_1661.jpg

This Embraer 170 had a slight variation compared with the official colours of the moment.


2.
Airplane:
Saab 340 | Registration: ES-ASO
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_8816.jpg

This Saab 340 was painted to promote the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. HockeyBird was the tournament’s official mascot.


EVA Air (Taiwan)

EVA Air had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

BR
EVA Air normal colours.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A321 | Registrtion: B-16206
Place in which I photographed it: Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok HKG | Date: September 2014

DSC_5545.jpg

EVA Air is a member of Star Alliance, and for that reason, has some Airplanes painted with the colours of the alliance (like the rest of the members). In this particular case, an Airbus A321.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-300 | Registration: B-16703
Place in which I photographed it: London-Heathrow LHR| Date: July 2010

DSC_4372.jpg

This Boeing 777-300 was painted with some special colours and a big title showing what kind of Airplane it was.

The title is kind of hidden in my photo, but clicking here you can see it clearly.


3.
Airplane:
Airbus A330-300 | Registration: B-16333
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: May 2012

DSC_7324.jpg

This Airbus A330-300 was painted with Hello Kitty colours.

I’m not sure how the commercial relation between the airline and Hello Kitty’s creators is, but clicking here you can see more information.


4.
Airplane:
Airbus A330-300 | Registration: B-16311
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: September 2014

DSC_7564.jpg

This is another Airbus A330-300 that was painted with Hello Kitty colours. This is the Airplane’s left side.

DSC_7747.jpg

I’m not sure how the commercial relation between the airline and Hello Kitty’s creators is, but clicking here you can see more information.

This is the Airplane’s right side.


Finnair (Finland)

Finnair had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

AY
Finnair normal colours until late 2010, when I took the photos they were transitioning to the new ones shown below.

Ramírez.

AY
Finnair normal colours from late 2010.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A319 | Registration: OH-LVF
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_3878.jpg

Finnair is a member of OneWorld, and for that reason, they have some Airplanes painted with the colours of the alliance (like the rest of the members).

In this particular case, an Airbus A319 with the base colours from before December 2010.


2.
Airplane:
Embraer 190 | Registration: OH-LKN
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_9512.jpg

Finnair is a member of OneWorld, and for that reason, they have some Airplanes painted with the colours of the alliance (like the rest of the members).

In this particular case, an Embraer 190 with the base colours from after December 2010. The current ones at the moment of writing this.


3.
Airplane:
Airbus A319 | Registration: OH-LVE
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_9195.jpg

This Airbus A319 was painted in retro colours, the ones the airline had circa the 50s.


4.
Airplane:
Douglas DC-3 | Registration: OH-LCH
Place in which I photographed it: Helsinki-Vantaa HEL | Date: June 2012

DSC_8906.jpg

This Douglas DC-3 wasn’t operate by Finnair exactly, but rather by Airveteran. It had the Finnair’s retro colours from when it began operating many years ago as Aero O/Y.


Garuda (Indonesia)

Garuda had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

Before the current ones, they had some I couldn’t photograph without a sticker. You can see how they were by clicking here. Later on, they changed those for the ones you see below, which are the current ones.

GA
Garuda normal colours at the moment of writing this.

Ramírez.

Up next, the airline’s Airplanes with special colours I’ve photographed:


1.
Airplane:
Airbus Boeing 777-300 | Registration: PK-GIC
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: September 2014

DSC_7496.jpg

Garuda has put stickers promoting tourism en Indonesia for many years now, in several of their Airplanes.

DSC_7498.jpg

In this particular case, the one on this Boeing 777-300 says “Wonderful Indonesia”, as can be seen in this close-up.


2.
Airplane:
Airbus A330-200 | Registration: PK-GPL
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: May 2012

DSC_6849.jpg

Meanwhile, the sticker on this Airbus A330-200 simply says “Visit Indonesia”.


3.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-300 | Registration: PK-GGR
Place in which I photographed it: Singapore-Changi SIN | Date: April 2009

IMG_6172.jpg

And in this Boeing 737-300 it says “Visit Indonesia 2009”.


4.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-300 | Registration: PK-GGG
Place in which I photographed it: Singapore-Changi SIN | Date: May 2009

IMG_6472.jpg

This Boeing 737-300 had an “e-travel” sticker, promoting services of online booking and the like, I guess.

Clicking here you can see a photo of the whole Airplane without being obstructed by a jet-bridge.


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