I'd say the following airlines really
need a new livery:
1. America West Airlines: Their first livery was well ahead of its time and correctly anticipated the main features of 1990s livery design, and indeed probably would still be viable today. Their current 1990s though looks appallingly "last-decade", with tacky, strange-looking letters and a hideous shade of red clashing with the various turquoise bits. A new livery would be a great way to highlight the current transformation of America West airlines from a dysfunctional basketcase to a modern, quality-service airline under Doug Parker.
2. Etihad Airways: When your airline is using what looks like the font from a Star Trek movie for its main titles, you know you have an identity problem. Eithad's livery is garish, overbearing and to be frank, bizarre. What's even more amazing is that it's a recent design. Does anyone in Abu Dhabi actually know how to design a brand?
3. Phucket Air: Since they currently don't have a livery and simply paint their titles on the old liveries of the AC
they buy (or reuse US Airway's Metrojet scheme), this one's a no-brainer.
4. Aerolineas Argentinas: Their current "new" livery is one of the most boring designs ever applied to an airliner. They should freshen up with a livery more evocative of Argentina's rich culture.
5. Grupo Taca: The livery of the Central American airline system is heavy, depressing and irrelevant. It would look great on a hearse, but on an airliner it is rather subpar.
6. WestJet: Their strange looking turqoise and green livery is eerily reminscent of the odd-looking livery of North Central and later Republic Airlines in the US, and is every bit as ugly.
7. Alaska Airlines: Alaska really needs to refresh their image with something crisper and more elegant. Ditto for Horizon. The current color schemes for the two airlines are a winning combination, but the titles need to be cleaned up, and I think it's time to take Johnny Cash off the tail...
8. ATA: American Trans Air may be in bad financial health. Should they go into bankruptcy, they should probably aim to emerge with a newer, better image that's crisper, more up-to-date and less cheesy.
9. Delta: A really stupid look (and I'm consoled to note that Grinstein agrees with me) but agreeing with Grinstein, this being the third livery since 1998 or so I don't think we're going to see another change. I do wish they'd bring back the Widget scheme which continues to persist on a handful of their fleet...alas.
10. Continental: Continental's livery is elegant and classy, and of the liveries I've listed here deserves replacement the least. Nonetheless, it is out of date, and it is also very bland. While the titles et cetera do go a long way towards conveying Continental's "caring" image and quality service, they are totally devoid of flamboyance, and basically make Continental out to be an average airline. Continental clearly isn't, and a return to something flamboyant, on a par with "The Proud Bird With The Golden Tail" would be really refreshing to employees and customers alike.
I'm not going to go suggest that the airlines race to Modified Airliner Photos and take a look at what RP
Abraham and the artists there have come up with, which seems fashionable on a.net these days ("Well, I really like this new livery by
I think probably the best image transition in recent times, and one which should be the model for all airlines, is that of United. Since 1998 they've slowly
phased in a new corporate identity, first by reviving their 1960s-era titles, then phasing those titles in over signage, equipment, their website, tickets, et cetera, and finally in 2004, 6 years after the transition began, introducing a new livery fully integrated with their new corporate image. This identity-transition should be a role model for other airlines, and was vastly more effective than the transitions seen elsewhere, for example, Northwest, where you have two conflicting, irreconciable signage systems in place.