United Airlines New Livery Reveal Set For Next Wednesday


United Airlines will be revealing a new livery on April 24th. According to a statement put out by United, it is not the same “leaked” livery from a few weeks ago. This leaves us with a bit of a guessing game as to what United’s new livery will look like.

United Airlines will be phasing out this livery in the coming years. Photo: United

The Globe

United Airlines inherited their current globe livery after their merger with Continental Airlines. The “new” post-merger livery (at the time) was barely discernible from the one used by Continental. This undoubtedly saved costs with repainting aircraft, in addition to being an easy replacement for United’s older “Tulip” livery. Furthermore, much of the new United Airlines took on elements from Continental Airlines, including Continental CEO Jeff Smisek.

The globe originally came from Continental Airlines. Photo: Wikimedia/Danielkang7744

Here is United’s current livery:

United 777-300ER in the current livery. Photo: United

Aside from “UNITED” and a slightly more vibrant blue tail fin, United took this livery from Continental. Needless to say, this new livery didn’t really strike a chord of brand recognition in the same way as United’s Tulip. The globe was justified as a way to highlight United’s global footprint that keeps expanding. Now, it seems that United is looking to get a new visual identity to help build their brand recognition.

The most recent change to their livery was the new “Swoop”. With their new 787 and 737 MAX aircraft, United introduced a “Swoop” livery. This modified livery saw a gold stripe that flows along the aircraft instead of cutting straight across in a line.

United’s 737 MAX feature the Swoop variation of the current livery. Photo: United

The Tulip

United’s pre-merger livery was cordially referred to as the “Tulip”. When United emerged from bankruptcy in the mid-2000s, they introduced a brand new livery to mark the start of a new chapter in their history. They decided to keep the Tulip because of brand recognition. In fact, compared to the gray “Battleship” livery, the “Rising Blue Tulip” emphasized the tulip on their tail fin. This new livery also had a coordinated color scheme of blue, white, and small hints of red retained from years past. However, with the end of United and the start of United-Continental, the Tulip saw its end.

United Airlines was once famous for their Tulip livery. Photo: Wo st 01/Wikimedia

What’s next?

United could revive the Tulip. Many frequent fliers recall the Tulip and it still has a strong brand association with United. On the other hand, United has been doing quite a bit of reworking of their color scheme. For starters, United has introduced “Pacific Purple” into their color scheme, with their new Premium Plus seats featuring a purple color. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some purple introduced in the new color scheme.

For now, we eagerly wait for April 24th, 2019.

What do you think United’s new livery will look like? Would you like to see the return of the Tulip? Let us know in the comments below!