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Livery of the Week: Sun Country Goes From Bland to Bold

The airline has tried a handful of different livery designs in its over 40 year history.

A Sun Country 737 lifts off. (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

Sun Country Airlines, the Minneapolis-based budget carrier synonymous with leisure destinations, boasts a colorful history reflected in its ever-evolving aircraft livery designs. From bold beginnings to employee-driven contemporary hues, each livery tells a story of an evolving brand identity.

Early Designs

Sun Country’s inaugural flight in 1983 took off with a striking orange, red, and white scheme, featuring an abstract sun and chunky lettering. This eye-catching, if not somewhat unconventional design gave way to a more streamlined iteration later.

A Sun Country 727 (Photo: JetPix (GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html> or GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>), via Wikimedia Commons)

Seeking a more sophisticated image, Sun Country shifted to a revised livery in 1996. Much of the same color scheme remained, but the stripes along the fuselage intercepted the text. The airline’s new logo – representing a sundial – was also placed on the tail.

Bold and Blue

While rolling out its new 737 fleet, Sun Country unveiled a bold new livery in 2001. The colorful design featured watermark-like text along the fuselage with dark blue hues. Although the new livery was a major shift from previous designs, the orange stripe still remained along the fuselage.

A Son Country Boeing 737-800 in Las Vegas (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

A Low-Cost Pivot

In 2018, as the carrier was transitioning to a low-cost carrier model, Sun Country embarked on a rather unique approach, seeking employee input to choose their next livery. The winning design features a vibrant blue base accented by orange stripes and a stylized sun logo. The tail section incorporates contours inspired by Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka, a nod to the airline’s hub.

Sun Country Boeing 737s sitting at its main base in Minneapolis/St. Paul (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Dubbed the ‘Tide Pod’ livery, the design adorns most aircraft in the carrier’s all-Boeing 737 fleet.

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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