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Livery of the Week: Aeromexico’s ‘Quetzalcoatl’ 787

Eye-catching and tasteful, this special livery adorns Aeromexico's first 787-9.

Aeromexico’s 787-9 in a special livery (Photo: Aeromexico)

Editor’s Note: AirlineGeeks is excited to launch our ‘Livery of the Week’ series. Every Friday, a team member will share an airline livery, which can be from the past, present, or even a special scheme. Some airline liveries are works of art. The complexity associated with painting around critical flight components and the added weight requires outside-the-box thinking from designers. The average airliner can cost upwards of $200,000 to repaint, creating a separate aircraft repainting industry as a result.

Have an idea for a livery that we should highlight? Drop us a line

Aeromexico has kept its share of unique liveries over the years. The Mexican flag carrier once had a standard polished aluminum livery across its fleet until 2006 when newer aircraft became increasingly less reliant on all aluminum components. Given that it is made of 50% carbon fiber material, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is certainly no exception to this.

Taking delivery of its first 787 in 2013, Aeromexico painted the aircraft in its refreshed standard livery, which is also on the carrier’s current 737-800 fleet. The standard paint job features a white fuselage with a red wave along with a dark purple tail.

In 2016, Aeromexico took delivery of the longer 787-9 variant, which also came with a special livery. Called ‘Quetzalcoatl’ – which is a deity in Aztec culture – the special livery adorns tail XA-ADL.

‘Tradition and Modernity’

The livery’s vibrant design combines art from the past and present. In a 2016 press release announcing the new aircraft, the airline said: “This is the first time in aviation history in which a design of this type is painted on an aircraft’s livery, offering a unique fusion of tradition and modernity.”

Interestingly, the livery was born out of a social media context two years before the unveiling. According to Aeromexico, more than 1,000 participants presented their designs during the four-week period. The winning design was created by a graphic designer named José Manuel Escudero of Veracruz, Mexico.

“We hope this plane will make our country proud. Quetzalcoatl will fly between major airports in Europe and Asia visited by millions of travelers each year,” said Aeroméxico CEO Andrés Conesa in a press release.

Aeromexico’s XA-ADL (Photo: Bram Steeman, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

The special livery is still gracing the skies today, mostly within Aeromexico’s long-haul route network. The airline has 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in its fleet.

Aeromexico’s ‘Quetzalcoatl’ 787-9 Dreamliner is eye-catching indeed. The airline created a stand-out design while also cultivating the Mexican artistic community.

Looking for a new airplane model? Head over to our friends at the Midwest Model Store for a wide selection of airlines and liveries. 

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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