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Livery of the Week: SWISS’s Red-Nosed Christmas Jets

During the holiday season, SWISS brings out a special livery inspired by Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

A Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A320-214 with a red nose cone during the holiday season in 2019 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

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

To celebrate the holiday season, SWISS International Air Lines has launched its annual Christmas campaign. Cleverly titled LXmas – with LX being SWISS’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) code – the celebration consists of special activities and contests. As part of LXmas, SWISS has painted two aircraft with red noses as a nod to the popular fictional reindeer.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Airbuses

For this year’s LXmas, SWISS has given red nose cones to two aircraft: a 20-year-old Airbus A340-300 registered as HB-JMA and a 28-year-old Airbus A320-200 registered as HB-IJJ. The subtle yet elegant addition consists simply of a red nose – a reference to Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Accordingly, the airline has nicknamed the aircraft “LXAirDeer.”

A SWISS Airbus A340-300 HB-JMA with a red nose cone for the 2023 iteration of its annual Christmas celebration, LXmas (Photo: Swiss International Air Lines)

The SWISS livery is uniquely well-suited for the addition of a red tip. Consisting of the Swiss flag on the tail – a white cross on a red field – and red “SWISS” lettering on a white fuselage, the minimalist livery only has two colors: red and white. The red nose cone is therefore an addition that is noticeable without seeming out of place.

A SWISS Airbus A320neo decked out with a red nose for its LXmas 2022 holiday campaign (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

LXmas: Celebrating the Holiday Season

The Swiss flag carrier has held its LXmas Christmas campaign since 2017, with a two-year pause for the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, LXmas was centered around a special flight that took families to Lapland in Finland, a region that has been connected to Santa Claus’ North Pole residence. After arriving in the winter wonderland, the lucky families would experience a few days of holiday festivities before returning to Switzerland.

Since the pandemic, the LXmas campaign has consisted of special activities and contests. For example, passengers traveling on a pair of flights between Zurich and Palma de Mallorca earlier this week on December 6 were accompanied on board by Santa Claus. While flying on the red-nosed A320, Santa handed out chocolates to passengers. Other LXmas festivities this year include airport gate events and social media contests. The red-nosed LXAirDeer first made an appearance in 2019 and returned in 2022.

Santa and the flight crew in pose in front of SWISS’s red-nosed holiday livery to celebrate a special flight on December 6, 2023 where Santa joined passengers on board (Photo: Swiss International Air Lines)

“We’re really looking forward to celebrating this Christmas with our guests well beyond Switzerland’s borders,” said SWISS Head of Marketing Stefan Vasic in a press release announcing the launch of this year’s holiday campaign. “Through ‘LXmas With You’ we don’t just aim to spread the festive spirit: we want to mark this special time of the year when we all come together and truly appreciate one another. Christmas is always best when it’s shared, we feel, and when we can experience all the magic of Advent together.”

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

Andrew Chen


  • Andrew Chen

    Andrew is a lifelong lover of aviation and travel. He has flown all over the world and is fascinated by the workings of the air travel industry. As a private pilot and glider pilot who has worked with airlines, airports and other industry stakeholders, he is always excited to share his passion for aviation with others. In addition to being a writer, he also hosts Flying Smarter, an educational travel podcast that explores the complex world of air travel to help listeners become better-informed and savvier travelers.

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