Thrust
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Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:10 am

United introduced their colorscheme a few weeks ago. Since then, only 5 aircraft have received the new livery...4 737s and 1 772. When NW introduced their livery, they had over 15 aircraft by a month in the new livery. Maybe that was because their A330s were delivered in the scheme, but I noticed their DC-9 fleet was converted to the new colors very quickly...at least 10 by the end of the month. Why is United very slowly introducing their livery? For public acceptance? Also, when does UA plan to paint their livery on the 744, the Airbuses, and the 767 and 757?
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
aerobalance
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:14 am

Funny - the same thing could be asked of DL.

"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
potomac
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:18 am

most likely bcs the planes are being painted in the new livery roughly on the same schedule they would be repainted with the old livery in heavy maintenance checks. see the many previous posts on why livery changes are not a significant adverse cost to airlines.
 
united4ever
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:21 am

Although the new c/s saves United money over repainting aircraft in the old one, this does not apply if the aircraft does not need a repaint. Basically United are only repainting aircraft when they are due for it anyway.

IMHO this is completely appropriate given their current situation (Ch11 protects them to reorganise into a profitable concern, not to spend money repainting aircraft unnecessarily, and they have bigger priorities anyway).

Mike
 
airways6max
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:36 am

Probably because they don't have the money. Remember, United is still in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
 
Thrust
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:18 am

Airways6max, you have a point. UA is in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, but that's not the reason they can't pay for it I don't think...it's b/c of the recent $192 million loss they suffered...they are low on cash. It puzzles me...why the hell does an airline decide to get a new livery when they are in bankruptcy? A new livery is not an incredible promotional tool. All a passenger really cares about is good service, and good prices, you would expect. I am very picky about paint schemes for airlines, but just because an airline has an ugly livery means jack to me...all I care about are ticket prices and service when flying an airline.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
potomac
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:24 am

i'd encourage you to look up previous posts about the costs and value of livery changes, but the long and short of it is that:

1) no, it isnt a tremendous additional cost beyond normal repainting

2) to roll out a new branding/livery is a very typical and effective marketing strategy for a company looking to refresh its image, signal a new direction, and reflect a new way of doing business.
 
Thrust
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:26 am

Thank you for your advice Potomac. Will try to find this information.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
kurt
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:35 am

I saw a CRJ in the new livery yesterday (3/16) at Denver. Not sure if it was a CRJ200 or 700, but it was down on the east end of Concourse B, on the south side. Anybody know details on this aircraft?

Don't forget the Ted aircraft, either. Saw two Ted 320s at the same time at Reno yesterday as well (about 6:15 a.m.).
 
Thrust
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:46 am

Thanks Kurt, but I already knew that a CRJ was in the new livery. Two TED A320s is new though, there was only one I knew of. Do you know how many A320s United is going to paint in the TED livery? Will any of them receive the new United livery?
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
potomac
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:54 am

i'd imagine that all 320's will be eventually be repainted, though i'm guessing that those designated for ted use will get repainted sooner. that being said, there are definitely ted planes out there with ted configurations inside but mainline livery on the outside.
 
gigneil
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 8:25 am

Airways6max, you have a point. UA is in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, but that's not the reason they can't pay for it I don't think...it's b/c of the recent $192 million loss they suffered...they are low on cash. It puzzles me...why the hell does an airline decide to get a new livery when they are in bankruptcy? A new livery is not an incredible promotional tool. All a passenger really cares about is good service, and good prices, you would expect. I am very picky about paint schemes for airlines, but just because an airline has an ugly livery means jack to me...all I care about are ticket prices and service when flying an airline.

Planes get painted at their heavy maintenance checks, and generally no sooner. They will apply the new livery to planes at that time, and no earlier.

A livery is a GREAT promotional tool. It helps define you as new and different, and they want it to differentiate themselves from the United that was going out of business.

Will any of them receive the new United livery?

The Ted planes have the livery they'll be wearing. Its based on the new United livery, and it doesn't make much sense to repaint the Ted planes into a non-Ted livery.

N

[Edited 2004-03-18 00:25:48]
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:00 am

Kurt,
There are two or so crj's in the new paint scheme, and I think 8, 737's in the new as well.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
Superfly
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:08 am

Don't rush it!
Let's sit back and enjoy this livery while it last.




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mattnrsa
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:45 am

There are 15-20 A320s painted in TED colors. It is extremely rare to see an old livery on the A concourse in DEN. There are more than 10 737s completed, too. The emphasis is on the 737s now, specifically the old Shuttle planes. Get you Shuttle views in now...they won't be around too much longer.
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:26 am

Planes get painted at their heavy maintenance checks, and generally no sooner. They will apply the new livery to planes at that time, and no earlier.

Why is it that every one thinks that planes only get painted right out of checks...??? In 5 years working as a OSVM Paint Rep for my airline do you know how many planes I saw get painted right out of check...?? Zero, Ziltch..Nada..None. That included: Mine, United, Northwest and Continental, all of whom where getting their planes painted at the same shop. ALL of the UAL aircraft I saw get painted came directly off line from the Asian market. Walking onboard I found the aircraft to be still catered and even ended up helping the UAL Rep empty all the trash, which I will say was a chore on a 747-400...!!

I'd say right now UAL is in no real rush to add the new livery. They first need to SURVIVE..!! Jet fuel prices are sky rocketing, they are still showing a negative cash flow and if the current fleet paint is still good, it's a major cost to them just to pull an aircraft off line to change its colors on a plane that dosn't need new paint.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Greg
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:45 pm

Possibly embarrasment?
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mcg
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:54 pm

I saw one of the 737's with the new livery at DEN yesterday and I must say it looked beautiful.
 
concord977
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:49 pm


Greg,

I agree with you. The new livery is far less sophisticated than what I expected. I also believe it will not stand the test of time.

It could be that they're going slow to assess the overall acceptance. They might have to adopt a "plan b" such as Delta did a few years ago.



Curt / concord977
Washington, DC



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syncmaster
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:02 pm

FYI, I sent an email to UA Customer Service a few weeks ago, the first 744 isn't scheduled for repaint until sometime November, they were not sure about any of the Airbus aircraft.
 
ord
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Mon Mar 22, 2004 11:50 pm

"It could be that they're going slow to assess the overall acceptance. They might have to adopt a "plan b" such as Delta did a few years ago."

They are not going slow to "assess acceptance." This is the new scheme plain and simple. The planes will be repainted as the need arises, not on a rush schedule. United has already said 72 planes will be repainted by yearend.

Also, Delta had no "plan b." Delta unveiled a new livery in 1997 under then-CEO Ron Allen. Shortly after that Allen was gone and Leo Mullin became CEO. He wanted to make his own mark on the airline and initiated his own new design. It had absolutely nothing to do with people liking/disliking the 1997 livery or a "plan b."
 
Thrust
Topic Author
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:38 am

Actually, I've had a long time to consider this thread, and Ord, you are right. This is actually a rather wise move on United's part. Surveys were on airliners.net and jetphotos.net asking people to rank the overall opinion of the livery. In each case, the majority voted it was just good, acceptable, not excellent. The public therefore must like the United gray colors a lot. If the livery isn't in high demand immediately by the overall public, but it is appealing, the best procedure is to gradually paint over the gray colors. And it makes sense...when I think about, I actually don't want the gray colors to evaporate. In addition, when TWA introduced their last ever livery, they very gradually painted over the Twin Red Stripes, and never fully painted their fleet in the new livery. But, they had painted over the majority of their fleet by 2000 since the new livery was unveiled in 1996. I just think its reasonable that United paint at least one of each type of aircraft they have in the new livery now...just one. There is nothing wrong with that, and it is a common procedure.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
concord977
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:27 pm


Ord,

Whether I am right about UA going slow, or whether you are right about them not going slow is pure speculation - which I indicated in my initial post (with the words . . . "it could be" . . .).

As for Delta's plan b, you are flat-out wrong. I have in front of me four issues of Marketing World magazine that describes every aspect of this "branding failure". They describe this as one of the worst (and most costly) branding mistakes in airline history. The issue dates are 11/7/97, 3/9/98, 5/5/98 and 7/11/98.

Delta conducted 132 Focus Groups in 24 cities specifically on their brand identity, in conjunction with the intermediate paint scheme of 1997. The also surveyed the opinions of 9,437 employees at all levels. The feedback was overwhelmingly negative regarding this paint scheme. The negative feedback was primarily due to three reasons:

a) the new design was far too similar to the old wedge design.
b) the cheatline was deemed to be 30-years outdated.
c) the "white" of the fuselage was actually "cream" and looked dirty.

You can "spin" this as a new CEO wishing to leave his mark on the carrier's identity - but the reality is that he was fixing a major mistake.

United had three distinct versions of its orange-stripe scheme - so they too are not above making adjustments and corrections to their image.

I stand by my original comments (whether they ever intend to reconsider their newest scheme or not). Their newest scheme is too simplistic, monochromatic and somewhat trendy. I would really be surprised if their entire fleet carries this new look in 10 or 15 years.

Best regards -



Curt / concord977
Washington, DC





[Edited 2004-03-23 04:41:57]
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InnocuousFox
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Tue Mar 23, 2004 2:42 pm

I couldn't imagine the conversation at ORD or DEN...

"Hey... where are all the United planes today?"
"Oh, I heard they are repainting them."
"All at once?!?"
"Yeah, some people bitched the last time they did it that they were rolling it out too slowly."
"Oh. That's kinda silly."
"Yeah. By the way, what are you here for?"
"Well, I'm headed to Orlando for a vacation."
"Really? What flight?"
"Uh... let's see... United flight twelve, thir... uh... Uh oh."
"Hey, don't sweat it... at least it will be in the new livery!"
"Yeah... great..."
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
concord977
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:25 am


InnocuousFox,

Funny transcript. However, if the new livery were meaningless to the business they would've saved the money in the first place and left them grey.

It is important enough to them to spend quite a bit per aircraft, and another healthy amount to promote the image within the industry.



Curt / concord977
Washington, DC



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ord
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:56 pm

Concord977,

I guess you learn something every day. I did not know about the negative feedback on Delta's Ron Allen scheme. If there is any way to scan and post your articles I would love to read them. Sounds very interesting.

As for United having three versions of the orange/red/blue scheme, I can only think of two. The original circa 1974, and then the revised version that came out in 1988 where the stripes were moved down (except on the 747) and the United titles were made larger. What was the third?

Thanks again for a good post.
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:07 am

"However, if the new livery were meaningless to the business they would've saved the money in the first place and left them grey"

That wasn't my point. I was illustrating why they couldn't paint them all so quickly... because there wouldn't be any freakin' planes left to fly on!
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
concord977
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RE: Why Is UA's New Livery Growing So Slowly?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:52 pm

InnocuousFox,

OK, I understand your point.

Ord,

I have a scanner, but I don't have a way of hosting the images so that I can link you to them. I will look into scanning them with OCR so that I can paste the entire text into a forum message.

Take care,




Curt / concord977
Washington, DC



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