United Officially Debuts New Livery and Branding

additional reporting by tom pallini

Airline employees check out United's new look (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tyler Tashji)

United Airlines has unveiled its new livery, the first since its merger with Continental Airlines nearly a decade ago.  Over the past few weeks, the Chicago-based carrier has been offering many clues via its social media accounts as to what the new livery will bring. The new paint scheme was also leaked a day prior to the launch after the airline managed to keep it under wraps for months.

The wait is over as the airline unveiled the newest scheme on one of its single-aisle workhouses, the Boeing 737-800, in a maintenance hangar on the grounds of Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The new livery predominantly features the color blue, a staple of United’s current branding, with all traces of gold, a holdover from Continental’s livery and branding, removed from the aircraft.

Notable features of the new livery include the name “United” in a larger font centered in the fuselage instead of above the windows, entirely blue engines and winglets and a redesigned, larger globe on the tail in blue and grey. The underbelly will keep its grey color but the cheatline will now the same swoop design found on the airline’s Dreamliners and Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

“Our globe truly represents how we connect people and unite the world,” said the video. United has taken that token to heart, painting the phrase “connecting people, uniting the world” near the first boarding door.

New text featured on the nose of United’s new livery (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tyler Tashji)

The new livery and accompanying branding refresh will be a welcome change for the airline, removing most of the traits from its predecessor, Continental Airlines, which it has had since the 2012 merger of the two carriers. The original globe logo was unveiled by Continental Airlines in 1991, over two decades ago.

United’s new livery (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tyler Tashji)

As the post-merger livery was merely a continuation of the existing Continental livery, the newly-combined airline did not have the proper opportunity to market a new look. With the new livery, United will finally get its chance to do this, rushing in a new era of United marketing and advertisements as all airlines do when unveiling a new look.

Delta Air Lines released its new livery and design refresh in 2015 after its merger with Northwest Airlines in 2009 and American Airlines released its new image in 2013 in anticipation of its merger with US Airways.

According to United’s CEO Oscar Munoz, the new livery will be more of an “evolution” rather than “a revolution.” Many of the colors have already been introduced by the airline over the past few years, most notably on the carrier’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, attributing to the idea of an evolution rather than a takeover by the new scheme.

United aircraft will be painted in the new colors over the next few years.

Akhil Dewan

An “AvGeek” for most of his life, Akhil has always been drawn to aviation. If there is an opportunity to read about an airline, fly on a new airplane, or talk to anyone about aviation, he is on it. Akhil has been on over 20 different kinds of aircraft, his favorite being the MD-80. Additionally, he has visited 5 continents and plans to knock out the remaining two (Africa and Antarctica) soon. Based in Dallas, Akhil graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Management Information Systems and currently works in consulting. His dream is to become an airline executive.
Akhil Dewan