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Colour me painted (Q-R)


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

I hope you like it.


Qantas (Australia)

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

QF
Qantas normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: VH-VXB
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: April 2014

DSC_6080.jpg

This Boeing 737-800 called “Yananyi Dreaming” is one of many Airplanes that Qantas has painted with Australian aboriginal art in its history.

At the time of writing this it’s been repainted into normal colours.


2.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: VH-XZJ
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_0170.jpg

This Boeing 737-800 called “Mendoowoorrji” is one of many Airplanes that Qantas has painted with Australian aboriginal art in its history.

In this particular case, it’s an homage to an aboriginal painted called Paddy Bedford.


3.
Airplane:
Boeing 747-400 | Registration: VH-OEF
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: April 2014

DSC_5787.jpg

Qantas belongs to OneWorld, and as a member, they have painted this Boeing 747-400 with the alliance’s colours, among other Airplanes.


4.
Airplane:
Boeing 767-300 | Registration: VH-OGG
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: November 2013

DSC_4335.jpg

This Boeing 767-300 has advertising of the, by then, new Disney movie, Planes.


5.
Airplane:
Boeing 747-400 | Registration: VH-OEJ
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_9775.jpg

This Boeing 747-400 was painted with Socceroos colours, Australia’s football team around the time of the Brasil 2014 FIFA World Cup.


6.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: VH-VXO
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: June 2014

DSC_8586.jpg

This Boeing 737-800 had a sign that said “Sharing the Spirit”. No idea why.


7.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-800 | Registration: ZK-ZQA
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_9753.jpg

This was Qantas’ 75th Boeing 737-800.

DSC_9751.jpg

For that reason, they put a sticker on it to commemorate that, as can be seen in this close-up.


8.
Airplane:
Boeing 707-100 | Registation: N707JT
Place in which I photographed it: Santiago SCL | Date: March 2012

DSC_6882.jpg

This Boeing 707-100 belonged to John Travolta, but may years ago (in the 60s) it had flown with Qantas with the Australian registration VH-EBM.

It so happened that Qantas and Travolta made an agreement, and the Airplane flew with Qantas’ retro colours for many years, partaking in marketing matters of the Airline from time to time.

In the photo above, it was in Santiago, Chile precisely for the inauguration of the, by then, new Qantas’ route between Sydney and Santiago.

Coincidentally I was up there in Santiago’s Airport control tower, and I could see it from there, splendorous. The Airplane nowadays is in an Aviation museum called HARS, not too far from Sydney.

DSC_7741.jpg

Years later, when I was getting my Pilot’s licence in the United States, it so happened that John Travolta didn’t live far away from my base Airport, and he lived there with his 707.

Often, when I flew with my avocado warrior (and others) to some place, I would fly around his house to see the Boeing 707… in one of those flights I took the photo.

You can see other side photo of the Airplane by clicking here.


Qantaslink (Australia)

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

QF
Qantaslink normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Bombarbier Dash 8-Q400 | Registration: VH-QOI
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: May 2014

DSC_7326.jpg

This Q400 had advertising of a country music festival they do in Tamworth, in New South Wales, Australia.


2.
Airplane:
Bombarbier Dash 8-Q300 | Registration: VH-TQH
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: November 2013

DSC_4487.jpg

This Dash 8 is one of many Qantaslink Airplanes that have the pink ribbon on the nose because of the breast cancer awareness situation.


3.
Airplane:
Bombarbier Dash 8-Q400 | Registration: VH-QOH
Place in which I photographed it: Melbourne-Tullamarine MEL | Date: August 2014

DSC_0863.jpg

Continuing with the topic of breast cancer awareness and fight, this Q400 didn’t only have a small ribbon on the nose, but was painted pink and had an even bigger ribbon close to the door.


4.
Airplane:
Bombarbier Dash 8-Q400 | Registration: VH-LQF
Place in which I photographed it: Brisbane BNE | Date: June 2014

DSC_8552.jpg

This Q400 had a decal that said “Regional Airline of the Year 2012”, celebrating having received that distinction.


5.
Airplane:
Boeing 717-200 | Registration: VH-YQW
Place in which I photographed it: Melbourne-Tullamarine MEL | Date: August 2014

DSC_0972.jpg

This Boeing 717-200 was painted in colours that promoted tourism in the state of Tasmania, Australia.

It says “Discover Tasmania”.


Qatar Airways (Qatar)

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

QR
Qatar Airways normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Bombarbier Challenger 605 | Registration: A7-CEA
Place in which I photographed it: Brussels BRU | Date: July 2010

DSC_9020.jpg

Qatar Airways had an executive Airplane travel subsidiary called Qatar Executive. Their colours are a little different compared to those of the main airline.


2.
Airplane:
Airbus A330-300 | Registration: A7-AED
Place in which I photographed it: Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi BKK | Date: May 2009

IMG_6428.jpg

The 2006 Asian Games were held in Doha. For that reason, Qatar Airways painted some Airplanes, including this Airbus A330-300.

I took this photo from the window of an AirAsia Boeing 737-300 as we waited for the Airplane to land so we could take off, so it’s blurry as hell.

Clicking here you can see a better photo of the Airplane.


3.
Airplane:
Airbus A330-300 | Registration: A7-AEG
Place in which I photographed it: Kuala Lumpur-Sepang KUL | Date: June 2009

IMG_7439.jpg

The 2006 Asian Games were held in Doha. For that reason, Qatar Airways painted some Airplanes, including this one, yet another Airbus A330-300.


REX – Regional Express (Australia)

REX – Regional Express had the following colours as the normal ones when I took the photos:

ZL
REX - Regional Express normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Saab 340 | Registration: VH-EKX
Place in which I photographed it: Sydney SYD | Date: August 2014

DSC_0431.jpg

This Saab 340 had advertising of www.sharkcagediving.com.au, a service to do just that in Australia.


Rossiya (Russia)

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

FV
Rossiya normal colours.

Ramírez.

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


1.
Airplane:
Boeing 737-500 | Registration: EI-CDF
Place in which I photographed it: Munich MUC | Date: June 2012

DSC_3197.jpg

This Boeing 737-500 was a hybrid, it had Rossiya’s titles and Pulkovo’s colours. Pulkovo was one of the airlines that merged to create Rossiya, precisely.

To see the Airplane in that former operation, click here.


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