Eastern Airlines has rolled out a Boeing 777 aircraft sporting its new eye-catching livery. It’s all artsy and topographical. The actual logo channels the look from the brand’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. It is getting a mixed response. But most people agree it captures your attention.
The Eastern Airlines brand has had almost as many regenerations as Doctor Who. The current owners are going for bright mixed colors that are a world away from the dour monotones most of us associate with the Eastern Airlines brand.
New livery, who dis? pic.twitter.com/IhZdK5rMOC
— Eastern Airlines (@goeasternair) July 7, 2020
Eastern’s new livery not exactly a secret
The new livery isn’t exactly a state secret. It has been in the works for a while, and a Boeing 767-238 featuring the new look flew several repatriation flights in April.
“This may not be the official unveiling we planned for our newly designed livery,” said Eastern Airlines when it posted a short clip on Instagram in April.
View this post on Instagram
This may not be the official unveiling we planned for our newly designed livery, but thanks to the amazing men and women working hard to help us bring stranded Americans home, we can share a sneak peak with you #goeasternair 📸 @lazc918 . . Design/branding by @mechanicausa @amalgam_co @playbook_studio
In a statement, Eastern Airlines said;
“Our rich and iconic history inspires our new logo, and our future of being an “Explorer” brand is modeled after topographical maps.
“Our main “map” logo is not tied to any one geographic location but represents the universal space we all share as global citizens among the places we fly. The colors of dark blue, light blue, and golden yellow represent the sky, sea, and sun, and all come from historic Eastern Airlines colors but have been re-interpreted for today.”
Initially, Eastern Airlines planned to have variations of their livery based on cities that they fly. But that seems to have fallen by the wayside in favor of just one version.
The Eastern Airlines name brought and sold over the years
Eastern Airlines is an interesting airline. Other than the name, it has zero connection with the original Eastern Airlines. The original airline, based in Miami, ceased operations in 1991. For much of the mid 20th century, it was one of the most prominent players in American aviation.
But as the slick marketing that has gone into this new livery attests, never let a good brand die. Since then, there have been two attempts to resuscitate the airline.
Eastern Air Lines Group, purchased the intellectual property, including the trademarks, of the original Eastern Air Lines in 2009. In 2015, they started charter flights between Miami and Havana using a Boeing 737-800.
But the venture was not a success, with flights ceasing in 2017. Miami-based Swift Air brought the name, trademarks, and plane. These got quickly transferred to Dynamic International Airways, a Swift subsidiary. Dynamic changed its name to Eastern Airlines, and that brings us to the here and now.
Bad time to start a new airline
In what can only be described as unfortunate timing, Eastern Airlines took to the air again earlier this year. The debut flight operated between New York Kennedy and Guayaquil. CNN described the debut flight as “underwhelming.”
No matter. The CEO’s daughter told CNN a new look would overcome doubts about the viability of this new version of Eastern Airlines;
“Eastern will unveil its new, modern livery in the next few months,” said Gabi Harfst.
2020 is not a great year to be launching a new airline. But despite doubts about Eastern Airline’s future, their aircraft now look sharp. A clean, minimalist typeface, snappy color pallette, and abstract design mean whether Eastern’s planes are flying or parked, they’ll get plenty of attention. Which, I suppose, is entirely the point of this whole exercise.