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Why Were World Tails Not Popular?  
User currently offlinewill777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 174 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 18078 times:

Why were the world tails of BA not popular and why were they taken off? Also, what other airlines had them and also removed them? I personally like them, but others did not.

Thanks in advance!

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1322 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 18078 times:

Mainly because people, and the press, thought they did not represent Britain strongly enough. It was quite a change from the very British Landor scheme, but I actually miss them. Very innovative idea! The tail design that BA uses currently is actually one of the World Tails designs (Chatham Historic Dockyard I believe??), so technically all the fleet is currently painted in a World Tail scheme...

User currently offlineNQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 18071 times:

Removed for not being representatively British enough, I think.

User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26845 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 18076 times:

Margaret Thatcher, famously placed her hankerchief over a model of BA 747 aircraft, showing her disgust at the design. It was not their best move IMHO. The current livery is the best .

User currently offlinekellmark From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 691 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17956 times:

There were also many cases of passengers not knowing who the heck the airline was, as well as even air traffic controllers not being able to identify them visually as British Airways, or other airline pilots for that matter. IE when a pilot is told to follow "Speedbird" whatever, the other pilot didn't recognize them as BA, either.
I personally think it was one of the biggest marketing follies ever.

But, I truly love what they use now. I think it is beautiful, distinctive and very British. What it ought to have been in the first place.


User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4158 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17861 times:

The World tails were actually really liked by Many. It was a good departure from the stuffy old BA image at the time. What they have now ended up with is actually the best outcome though, IMHO.

It's obviously British, but fresher and more inviting than the old Landor livery.



Flown EI,FR,RE,EIR,VE,SI,TLA,BA,BE,BD,VX,MON,AF,YS,WX,KL,SK,LH,OK,OS,LX,IB,LTU,HLX,4U,SU,CO,DL,UA,AC,PR,MH,SQ,QF, EY, EK
User currently offlineDAL767400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17818 times:

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 5):
The World tails were actually really liked by Many

I know I definitely loved them and consider it a shame they went away.

Just IMHO, but maybe if BA had chosen one of the World Tails as an initial regular paint scheme, I'm thinking Chelsea Rose, and then added the other variations on a certain percentage of the fleet, they might still be around, as from what I remember the Chelsea Rose scheme was actually quite popular even among the "very British" crowd and it was mainly the schemes like Africa and Kalahari Desert that were disliked.


User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26845 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17751 times:



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It was launched with much fanfare and live TV screens around various BA worldwide offices.


User currently offlineTalaier From Spain, joined May 2008, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17632 times:

I loved them and think it was one of the most daring and fantastic aircraft painting schemes ever. Pity it didn't receive the back up it deserved for not being "truly British". Though in my opinion Britain, as a multi-cultural society is best represented with those world tails, hinting at it's past both as an empire and as welcoming land for immigrants from all over the planet.

I would've kept them, at least on some aircraft. I do have to recgonise however that I love the current scheme as well.


User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8276 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17620 times:
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Air Traffic controllers complained about not being able to identify BA planes.

User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26845 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17515 times:

Quoting Talaier (Reply 8):
Though in my opinion Britain, as a multi-cultural society is best represented with those world tails, hinting at it's past both as an empire and as welcoming land for immigrants from all over the planet.

It was a nice ''romantic'' idea but never was seen that way , it was at a time where it was ''fashionable'' to ditch British identity . It was an expensive experiment.


User currently offlinevv701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7383 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17490 times:

Quoting kellmark (Reply 4):
There were also many cases of passengers not knowing who the heck the airline was, as well as even air traffic controllers not being able to identify them visually as British Airways, or other airline pilots for that matter. IE when a pilot is told to follow "Speedbird" whatever, the other pilot didn't recognize them as BA, either.

This was a popular myth that grew out of a true situation at LAX.

QF had leased a BA 744 carrying the Danish 'Wings' tail. This aircraft had been registered G-BNLH and was reregistered VH-NLH by QF. It was operated frequently by QF into LAX where the air traffic controllers were confused because the aircraft retained the British Airways Wings tail and was not therefore readily distinguishable from 'real' BA aircraft. As a result the tail of 'NLH was repainted white:

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Photo © Frank Schaefer
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Photo © Craig Murray


If there was a real problem of not being able to identify an airline because it had painted its tails differently then quite a few airlines with logo jets and others, like PIA, who have since adopted not disimilar variations to those of BA for their tail liveries:

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Photo © Stewart Andrew
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Photo © Eelco Vonk


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Photo © Tek
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Photo © Tokyo Spotter


clearly would not have done so.


User currently offlineaviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1351 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17367 times:

From an article I wrote on airlines & identity...

"...BA earned a spot in marketing infamy when, in 1997 and to considerable fanfare, it unveiled its "World Images" look. A dozen or so unique patterns, each showcasing artwork from a different region the world, were chosen for the tails of BA aircraft. Out went the quartered Union Jack and heraldic crest, and in came Delftblue Daybreak, Wunala Dreaming, and Primavera. It was all very progressive, multicultural, and revolting. Newell and Sorell, creators of the campaign, called it "a series of uplifting celebrations."

A more cynical source called it "a wallpaper catalog." The Queen herself reportedly held her nose when asked to comment. Eventually World Images was substituted by a fleetwide red, white, and blue that today every BA aircraft look like a huge can of Pepsi...."


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17330 times:

IMHO there were far too many designs and it needed to be more coherent i.e had fewer designs and used them more to indentify different branches of BA, for example have the Scottish tail on the Loganair planes and maybe some of the domestic aircraft, the South African designs on the Comair fleet and the calligraphy on the British Asia Airways fleet. There were some examples of this, for example the unique designs for Deutsche BA and Air Liberte but I think it needed to go further. Also, I would have got the customers more involved in the designs, maybe have surveys and choose the most popular designs.

The PIA fleet is a bit of a different story because whilst there are different tails, they all have the same basic elements whereas some of the world tails looks wildly different and to a controller who can only a see tail they may think they're looking at two different airlines.


User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17297 times:

I really loved the idea of the World Tails, because it was never boring, sort of like how seeing an F9 plane lands is never boring since every aircraft is quite unique, by whats on the tail.

However, I can understand the reasons for changing. I try to imagine if AA replaced their iconic Eagle logo with a World Tail scheme, and it becomes easy for me to see why -- it just doesn't feel right that a major airline ambassador carrying the name American would be all about the rest of the world, as opposed to the Eagle. If it were any other airline, then would be a wonderful idea.

Cheers,
Anthony/Airport


User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17239 times:

I liked the world tails

User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17195 times:

Well to be honest since Mrs Thatcher removed a hankerchief from her handbag and used it cover a 747 model's tail, declaring "We fly the British flag not these awful things" it didn't really have a hope in hell of succeeding.

New CEO Rod Eddington finally poured cold water on the whole idea and decided to re-paint everything in the concord/Chatham Dockyard livery.


User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 17037 times:

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
The current livery is the best .

After World Tails, and Landor, yes, it is. . .


User currently offlinevv701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7383 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 16946 times:

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 16):
New CEO Rod Eddington finally poured cold water on the whole idea and decided to re-paint everything in the concord/Chatham Dockyard livery.

It was a two stage process.

The Union Flag design had been applied to every Concorde but no subsonic aircraft.

On 18 April 1999 a 763 (G-BNWR) was rolled out at LHR. It was to take HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Price Philip on a State Visit to South Korea. It was painted in the Union Flag colours:

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Photo © Wladimir Castro,San Juan Puerto Rico


The following month I had a private conversation with a BA executive. He told me that BA planned to roll out six aircraft, two of each of three different types, with this livery. From what had happened since the roll out of 'WR and what happened over the next three or four weeks it can be deduced that he was speaking of 2 752s, 2 763s, and 2 772s.

In the meantime the British media, who, through their reporting of the Thatcher incident described earlier in this thread and their own editorial comment, had certainly influenced a response to World Images amongst the British public that was overall less than favourable, turned completely around. Their positive response was heightened because of the direct involvement of Queen Elizabeth in the 'launch' of the 'new' image. So, in early June 1999 BA announced that all BA aircraft painted or repainted in the future would carry the Union Flag tail.

They were as good as their word with the sole exception of two 744s, G-CIVA and 'VB. Both were rolled out in September 1999 with the Chelsea Rose tail and . . . Well have a look at the titles in the photos:

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Photo © Brian Wilkes
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Photo © Michael Carter


As with the previous Landor livery, the British Asia aircraft had a different tail design to other aircraft in the BA fleet.


User currently offlineheathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 978 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 16836 times:

I had the pleasure of riding G-DOCF and G-DOCL before the tails were lost. I liked them personally, but I'll always feel the landor livery was better.

I think I saw somewhere there was an issue identifying the aircraft in the air, as they all looked different. When told to look for traffic, BA 747, it's hard to tell the airline if the tails are all different. Not sure if that was a contributing factor or not


User currently offlineAirportugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3575 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16653 times:

'Delftblue Daybreak' was my personal favorite on the 777, as seen below


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Photo © Spencer Wilmot



 



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7405 posts, RR: 50
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 16459 times:
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Quoting wn700driver (Reply 17):
After World Tails, and Landor, yes, it is. . .

The Landor image was the best by far. It captured the true essesnce of corporate professionalism and that, along with BA's new vision in the mid 80's made brought them up to the level of their Asian competitiors. The grey and blue coulours, coupled with the redesign of the quartered Union Jack and the "To Fly To Serve" creast truly projected the image of taste and style that made BA a tough act to follow. You know you have a great image when another airline copies you. I liked the 1973-84 colours better than the World Tails, or for today's BA markings for that matter. 20 years ago, when I would travel back to the UK, BA was the first and only airline I went to. I never considered a US carrier as I was loyal to BA. I dreamt about working for BA becuase the image impressed me so much. I used to get excited about landing in the UK and seeing the flood of BA tails everywhere. Now, I could care less about Heathrow or Gatwick. Like the passing of Concorde, the best of BA is gone. I'm more impressed by my company's stronghold in Amsterdam or Narita than I am about Heathrow. Gawdy and cheap would describe the the post-Landor era to me. Stuffy sounds better than uninspired.



Made from jets!
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1322 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15551 times:

I hope that BA revives the crest in some form whenever they decide to redesign their colours. With the revamp of F, and the coming revamp of Y and Y+, the image inside the plane is heading back towards classy, whilst still being modern. I hope their next scheme, whenever that may arrive, will reflect this.

User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15212 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 9):
Air Traffic controllers complained about not being able to identify BA planes.

I wonder how they coped with the different tail logos on Frontier's aircraft.


User currently offlineTN486 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 915 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15183 times:

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 21):
The Landor image was the best by far. It captured the true essesnce of corporate professionalism and that, along with BA's new vision in the mid 80's made brought them up to the level of their Asian competitiors. The grey and blue coulours, coupled with the redesign of the quartered Union Jack and the "To Fly To Serve" creast truly projected the image of taste and style that made BA a tough act to follow. You know you have a great image when another airline copies you. I liked the 1973-84 colours better than the World Tails, or for today's BA markings for that matter. 20 years ago, when I would travel back to the UK, BA was the first and only airline I went to. I never considered a US carrier as I was loyal to BA. I dreamt about working for BA becuase the image impressed me so much. I used to get excited about landing in the UK and seeing the flood of BA tails everywhere. Now, I could care less about Heathrow or Gatwick. Like the passing of Concorde, the best of BA is gone. I'm more impressed by my company's stronghold in Amsterdam or Narita than I am about Heathrow. Gawdy and cheap would describe the the post-Landor era to me. Stuffy sounds better than uninspired.

  
The Landor image spelt C L A S S and looked C L A S S. However, having said that, the World images IMHO. were great, maybe painting part of the fuselage with these images would have been the preferred way to go. From an Aussie viewpoint, I would have gone with it.



remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
25 mikey72 : They never should of got rid of Landor. Maybe brought it upto date by 'softening the edges' somehow. That would of been amazing. I always thought the
26 Post contains links RJ111 : Maggie put it best... "We fly the British flag, not these awful things" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4g8zwVfPAI[Edited 2010-06-01 04:43:49]
27 LY777 : I really loved the World Tail, especially the Chelsea Rose tail...
28 thrufru : I thought the world tails were brilliant. It was always a treat to see which would block in next. I certainly made spotting more interesting. That sai
29 Post contains links jfklganyc : Take a marketing class. This pr disaster and marketing debacle is only rivaled by the "New Coke" disaster in the 80s. In both cases, if the respective
30 rheinwaldner : But being (or becoming) famous is the primary aim of pr or marketing...
31 jfklganyc : "But being (or becoming) famous is the primary aim of pr or marketing..." True . . . but I don't think BA would do it again.
32 jetjack74 : I doubt it. Western business rarely caves when it comes to image and public cares even less. After awhile, the public concern fades from the forefron
33 GDB : For all the fuss about Maggie etc, the real reason this unfocused, ill thought out idea was axed, was due to the number of pax complaints. I don't kno
34 jetjack74 : it was much like with my fellow coworkers at Northwest Airlines. When we rolled out the 2003 image, nobody was really all that impressed with it. The
35 GDB : We were shown, just before the roll out in June 1997, a bunch of models with the various tails. The reaction was generally, WTF? Surely good branding,
36 Stitch : But they all have that white strip with the logo on it, which is a unifying theme lacking from the BA "World Tails". Personally, have to say I'm not
37 BMI727 : I agree, I don't think that the current livery looks as good as an updated Landor livery would. Maybe I am just stereotyping, but the current scheme
38 richierich : I think the OP can find the answer simply put in these quotes: Personally I disliked the tails for the same reasons as above - we went from a highly B
39 DCA-ROCguy : I'll say the same thing I always say whenever the World Tails come up (about # 45-50 on the list of Airliners.net old-chestnut discussion topics). The
40 oa260 : No World Tails were very un popular BA admitted that themselves, even staff reactions on the day were very dissapointing.
41 richierich : HA! I think you are correct with this point, although I must admit I have not seen it as a topic in several years! I feared there may have been a 10-
42 Post contains images vv701 : Please see my Reply 11. The confusion occurred because both BA and QF were operating 744s into LAX with the same tail design:
43 DocLightning : From a marketing perspective, I feel it was a horrible idea. An aircraft is a big billboard for your airline. The tail is the most prominent part. Whi
44 FlyCaledonian : I think that could have worked well. For example, Colour Down the Side was only ever used on a Brymon Airways aircraft. That could have worked to use
45 USAirALB : Was there ever a tail with fish or the ocean on it? I remember seeing this BA 744 tail in MCO, maybe 10 years ago as a boy. It could have been my imag
46 Post contains links and images vv701 : It was: View Large View MediumPhoto © Propfreak
47 Post contains links and images jetjack74 : Blue Poole, I believe they were dolphins View Large View MediumPhoto © Carlos Borda
48 swf : My vote is for: Chelsea Rose Saw it, and others in NY, Newark and MCO. Liked it the best, but the current is beautiful, too, The red blue and white sa
49 VC10er : FROM AN INSIDER: multiple agencies ( including Landor) were asked to contribute concepts and designs for the pitch. At BA's admission, the "Landor" li
50 wn700driver : That's also what I do not like about the current scheme. It's nice, but doesn't make me think "BA." No such problems with Landor. I will not doubt yo
51 UA772IAD : That must have been the point. Landor was an incredible livery, but definitely too old and stuffy. Formal has gone out the window these days....
52 timboflier215 : I second wn700driver! Can you remember what your livery looked like? One thing I've never understood is airlines' need to be seen as 'fresh', 'young'
53 UA772IAD : It's not just airlines. Most companies with logos and branding try and refresh their image every so often. Brand recognition is very important, and i
54 timboflier215 : No, that is true. But neither do I think their new F product and, soon to be new Y and Y+, really dovetails with the image of being 'fresh' etc. Mode
55 mirrodie : Of course, there is a lot of irony around the entire concept we are talking about here. I mean, since 9-11, most of us come under a lot of scrutiny,
56 Post contains links and images TravellerPlus : The world tails contnue to fly with BA. The fabric in the World Traveller features three of the designs African Animals, Cranes and Waves. It is a nic
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