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Livery of the Week: Icelandair’s Hekla Aurora

The special livery showcases the beauty of the northern lights.

An Icelandair Boeing 757-200 in the “Hekla Aurora” northern lights special livery (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

In 2015, Icelandair unveiled a special livery highlighting one of Iceland’s most famous natural icons. The Boeing 757-200 is adorned with a special paint job that showcases the beauty of the northern lights.

Hekla Aurora: Showcasing a Magnificent Natural Wonder

The bottom portion of the aircraft shows a dark Icelandic winter landscape with snow-covered mountains. Above that is the main portion of the special livery, which shows the beautiful colors of the northern lights, or the aurora borealis. The tail of the aircraft has the standard tail of Icelandair’s pre-2022 livery.

“Hekla” is a traditional Icelandic girl’s name and the name of one of Iceland’s most active and famous volcanoes. The second part of the livery’s name, “Aurora,” is a reference to the northern lights.

Icelandair launched the special livery as part of a campaign to promote free stopovers in Iceland on transatlantic itineraries. To this day, the airline offers stopovers in Iceland at no additional cost to travelers flying between North America and Europe, in an effort to promote tourism in Iceland. Almost a decade after its launch, the special livery also remains in service.

The special livery is painted on a 30-year-old Boeing 757-200 registered as TF-FIU. The aircraft was in service for 10 years with Iberia before Icelandair took delivery of it in 2004. Icelandair’s Boeing 757s are slated to be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A321LR/XLR aircraft in the coming years.

Bringing the Northern Lights to the Onboard Experience

Not only does the exterior of the aircraft showcase the northern lights, but Icelandair has also incorporated elements of the natural phenomenon inside the aircraft. The cabin has LED mood lighting installed that displays an aurora borealis light show throughout the interior of the aircraft.

The interior of Icelandair’s “Hekla Aurora” Boeing 757 features LED mood lighting that simulates the northern lights (Photo: Icelandair)

Icelandair brought in renowned Icelandic meteorologist and former Icelandair pilot Birta Lif to celebrate the launch of the livery back in 2015. “Hekla Aurora provides an authentic Aurora Borealis experience to all those who fly on her,” Lif stated. “The on-board light show provides the perfect beginning to any transatlantic flight by showcasing the natural beauty of Iceland’s famous northern lights.”

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

Author

  • 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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