Chapters
The more you know

Colour me painted (H-J)


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 H-J. In the menu in the beginning, or in the end, you will be able to browse toward the others.

I hope you like it.


Hong Kong Express (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong Express had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

UO
Hong Kong Express normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: B-LPB
Place in which I photographed it: Hong Kong-Chek Lap Kok HKG | Date: September 2014

DSC_5971.jpg

This Airbus A320 didn’t have the normal colours of Hong Kong Express at that moment, but rather some colours associated to airlines belonging to or having some participation by the HNA Group.


Icaro Air (Ecuador)

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

I don’t have a photo of the normal colours of Icaro Air in that time taken by me. But clicking here you can go to one taken by a third person.

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


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-200 | Registration: HC-CFD
Place in which I photographed it: Quito-Mariscal Sucre (old one) XUIO | Date: March 2010

IMG_0823.jpg

This Boeing 737-200 only had a sticker in the tail with logo of the airline, but the rest of the Airplane was white.


JAL Express (Japan)

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

JC
JAL Express normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: JA331J
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Haneda HND | Date: September 2014

DSC_8672.jpg

This Boeing 737-800 had a decal, that said something “Visit Tohoku!” if I’m not mistaken.

Tohoku is a region in Japan, the one most affected by the 2011 tsunami.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: JA338J
Place in which I photographed it: Osaka-Kansai KIX | Date: May 2012

DSC_9272.jpg

This Boeing 737-800 had a decal that I’m not totally sure about what did it say.

If I’m not mistaken it was something like “Go Japan!”.


Japan Airlines (Japan)

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

JL
Japan Airlines normal colours until 2011.

Ramírez.

JL
Japan Airlines normal colours from 2011. Back to the original logo they had since 1959.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-200 | Registration: JA771J
Place in which I photographed it: Osaka-Itami ITM | Date: May 2012

DSC_9414.jpg

Japan Airlines 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 case in particular, a Boeing 777-200 with the base colours from before 2011.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-200 | Registration: JA708J
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: September 2014

DSC_7588.jpg

Japan Airlines 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 case in particular, a Boeing 777-200 with the base colours from after 2011. The current ones at the moment of writing this.


3.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-200 | Registration: JA702J
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Haneda NRT | Date: May 2012

DSC_8920.jpg

There was a touristic campaign in Japan called “Japan. Endless Discovery”.

Japan Airlines put the campaign’s sticker to this Boeing 777-200 with the base colours from before 2011.


4.
Airplane:
Boeing 767-300 | Registration: JA614J
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: September 2014

DSC_7425.jpg

There was a touristic campaign in Japan called “Japan. Endless Discovery”.

Japan Airlines put the campaign’s sticker to this Boeing 767-300 with the base colours from after 2011.


5.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-200 | Registration: JA707J
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_9669.jpg

This Boeing 777-200 had a sticker about CONTRAIL (Comprehensive Observation Network for Trace gases by an Airliner).

You can read more about this program by clicking here and here.


6.
Airplane:
Boeing 767-300 | Registration: JA8364
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Haneda HND | Date: September 2014

DSC_8469.jpg

This Boeing 767-300 had a sticker promoting WAON, an electronic wallet system.

The system’s mascot is the white doggy, “waon” is the onomatopoeia in Japanese for the barking of the beautiful cute doggiesss.


7.
Airplane:
Boeing 777-300 | Registration: JA731J
Place in which I photographed it: Tokyo-Narita NRT | Date: May 2012

DSC_7293.jpg

This Boeing 777-300 was painted green instead of red and had a sign that said “SKY ECO”.

It was painted like that to showcase Japan Airlines’ environmental improvement projects, including the reduction of their carbon footprint by 20%.


JetBlue (United States)

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

B6
JetBlue has many 'normal' colours. In this list I'm including some of the more repetitive, and the 'special' colours will be those that are present in just one Airplane as far as I know.

Ramírez.

B6
JetBlue has many 'normal' colours. In this list I'm including some of the more repetitive, and the 'special' colours will be those that are present in just one Airplane as far as I know.

Ramírez.

B6
JetBlue has many 'normal' colours. In this list I'm including some of the more repetitive, and the 'special' colours will be those that are present in just one Airplane as far as I know.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N763JB
Place in which I photographed: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: December 2018

DSC_1065.jpg

JetBlue started flying only in 2000. Nonetheless, they wanted to follow older airlines and invented a retro-jet.

The result was this Airbus A320.


2.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N809JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: December 2018

DSC_1225.jpg

This Airbus A320 is painted with the colours of the company part in charge of the charity works, called JetBlue for Good.


3.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N605JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: December 2018

DSC_1602.jpg

This Airbus A320 is painted with the colours of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.


4.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N615JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_1643.jpg

This Airbus A320 is painted with the colours of thel New York City Fire Department, FDNY.

DSC_5146.jpg

In this photo I took in Fort Lauderdale in Abril 2018 you can see it in daytime.


5.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N595JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_2853.jpg

This Airbus A320 is painted with the colours of the Boston Celtics basketball team.


6.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N709JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_2911.jpg

This Airbus A320 was painted like this celebrating Fly-Fi’s launch in 2014.


7.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N598JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_3268.jpg

This Airbus A320 has some colours called “Inspiring Humanity”. It’s another JetBlue program.


8.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N586JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_3535.jpg

This Airbus A320 has the famous “I love NY” colours.


9.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N623JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: January 2019

DSC_4786.jpg

This Airbus A320 has colours promoting the airline’s travel packages subsidiary, JetBlue Vacations.


10.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N805JB
Place in which I photographed it: Fort Lauderdale FLL | Date: April 2018

DSC_4993.jpg

This Airbus A320 has a sticker that says “Fewer Delays. Faster Flights. ontimeflights.org”.


11.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N775JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: February 2019

DSC_7216.jpg

This Airbus A320 has colours dedicated to the United States military veterans.

Besides the colours, it has a decal that says “JETBLUE HONORS OUR VETERANS”.


12.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N746JB
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: March 2019

DSC_7388.jpg

This Airbus A320 has the colours of the NY Jets american football team.


13.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: N531JL
Place in which I photographed it: Medellin-Rionegro MDE | Date: September 2019

jetpolice1.jpg

This Airbus A320 has colours in honour of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).


Jetstar (Australia)

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

JQ
Jetstar normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: VH-VGF
Place in which I photographed it: Auckland AKL | Date: August 2014

DSC_1635.jpg

Jetstar celebrated 10 years in 2014. To commemorate that, they painted this Airbus A320 all in orange.

DSC_1637.jpg

On one side it said #jetstargeneration. On the other “Low fares forever”.


2.
Airplane:
Airbus A320 | Registration: VH-VFN
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: August 2014

DSC_9040.jpg

To celebrate reaching more than 100 Airplanes, and more than 100 million transported passengers, Jetstar painted this Airbus A320 with the colours you see above.


GO BACK TO LIST D-G< | >CONTINUE TO LIST K-P


read more:

Leave a Comment

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of