United Airlines has revealed an updated livery as part of the airline’s steps to modernise its visual brand.

The refreshed design features the core colours from United’s updated brand palette which was introduced last year as part of the airlines visual identity update. Blue continues to be the airline’s primary colour with various tones aiming to create depth and reflect the colours passengers will see when they look out of the plane window at the sky.

The new livery prominently features the core blue colour, using three shades – Rhapsody Blue, United Blue and Sky Blue – throughout the design. The airline has kept its iconic globe logo on the aircraft tail, representing the carrier’s route network of reaching 355 destinations in nearly 60 countries.

The tail will be updated with a gradient in the three shades of blue, while the logo will now appear predominantly in Sky Blue. The engines and wingtips are also being painted United Blue. Customers and employees have “expressed fondness” for the ‘swoop’ on United’s Dreamliner fleet and so this will be added to all aircraft in Rhapsody Blue.

United’s name will appear larger on the aircraft body and the lower half of the body will be painted Runway Gray, while its mission statement of “Connecting People. Uniting the world” will also be painted near the door of each aircraft.

United's Premium Plus seating in purple with bedding

The new colour palette also includes shades of purple, which is most recognisable as the colour of the new United Premium Plus seats which are being added to the fleet. The airline suggests that the purple and blue tones will create “a soothing environment and a more relaxed travel experience.”

As part of the update, United is also reducing the use of the gold colouring which was added to the palette almost 30 years ago.

The new colour palette can also be seen in the accent colours of the new uniforms that are being created for more than 70,000 front-line employees.

“As we improve and elevate our customer experience, we are changing the way people think and feel about United, and this branding captures that new spirit,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. “Each improvement we’ve added to our service advances our evolution as an airline, furthering our effort to elevate and redefine customer service in the sky. This modernised design, especially our iconic globe, enhances the very best of United’s image and values while pointing in the direction of where we intend to go next in serving our customers.”

On average, United aircraft receive new paint jobs every seven years. The first aircraft painted with the new design is a Boeing 737-800, which will be joined be a mix of narrowbody, widebody and regional aircraft with the updated livery throughout the year.

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