Hungarian beauty queen, giant salmon, flying panda, Mickey Mouse, Santa hit by a plane. What do they have in common? They were all used by airlines for marketing purposes, thus as aircraft paintings they all made our blue sky more colorful. Following the success of our earlier post about Sexy Stewardess Uniforms, we collected the most extravagant aircraft paintings.
The outfit of the aircrafts is one of the most important image tool of all airlines. Although there have been some airlines that sold the aircraft’s body for commercial purposes, still aircraft paintings are used for image strengthening. Here are the best aircraft paintings.
Sky Europe – Zsuzsa Laky
Zsuzsa Laky was Miss Hungary and Miss Europe in 2003. Slovakian-based Sky Europe had a hub in Budapest (Hungary) as well, so they contracted her to promote Hungary as a destination. Her full body shape picture covered the side of a B737-700. Zsuzsa’s face was also used in 2003 and 2004 by the Hungarian Tourism Board on billboards all over Europe to promote Hungary.
Alaska Airlines – Salmon-Thirty-Salmon
Alaska Airlines is the biggest air cargo company delivering sea fishbetween Alaska and the mainland US and Alaska and Europe. To emphasize their role in sea food transportation, they painted a giant salmon on one of their aircrafts. The name of the aircraft is a word game. Instead of Seven-Thirty-Seven they called it Salmon-Thirty-Salmon. Nice idea.
Alaska Airlines – Make a wish
The giant salmon was not the only special livery at Alaska Airlines. Together with the “Make-a-wish” foundation they decorated an aircraft with Genie from the Disney movie Aladdin. Alaska Airlines supported the foundation by taking children to places they wished to travel. On the first flight of the plane featuring Genie six children travelled from Seattle to Disneyland in California.
All Nippon Airways – Fly! Panda
To celebrate 35 years of freindly relationship between China and Japan and the 20th anniversary of the Tokyo – Beijing flight, All Nippon Airways chose the character of a Panda to be painted on their aircraft. It is not just the outift of the aircraft, the interior and the uniform of the staff is also themed of the kind, black-and-white bear.
JAL – Dream Express
It was not just Alaska Airlines cooperating with Disney. JAL also painted 5 + 1 of its aircrafts “Disneyish”. The family members were the following: “Friends” with white background, “Sweet” with pink background, “Family” with blue background, 2 planes named “Tokyo Disney Sea” with blueish water-like background and the extra 6th plane with the nose of Mickey Mouse called “Dream story” and its livery is based on the story of an elementary school girl.
Lufthansa – Football World Championship
For Germany 2006 was a historical year. After its reunion the Football (soccer) World Championship was the biggest sport event, when they could finally show thw world they are a nation, they are good hosts and their team is again good at football. They started preparations a year before the event. One of the first visual promotion of the championship was that Lufthansa painted the nose of its Airbus aircrafts looking like a soccer ball.
Air Asia – Manchester United
Air Asia is a low cost airline in the Far-East, where Manchester United football (soccer) club is very popular. The marketing managers of Air Asia found it a good opportunity to aim at this target group by painting one of their aircrafts Manchester United-like. The aircraft was called the Red Devil Airbus and it featured the key players and the trainer of the famous British soccer club. The players painted on the plane were: Sir Alex Ferguson, Park Ji Sing, Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Smith, Rio Ferdinand.
Christmas – as all holidays – is one of the highest seasons in air travel. Airlines naturally prepare a lot for the holiday season. We can see Santa Claus livery on planes many times, especially on Finnair flights as Finnland is the official home of Santa. This is my favorite Santa painting, although I never managed to find out the airline itself.
And here is a collection of paintings not mentioned in the article.