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Lufthansa is getting a makeover, or some may say, a make-under. At an event in Frankfurt on Wenesday at the Lufthansa Flight Center, the German flag carrier unveiled its new branding.
The most striking and head-turning part of the change is the airline’s new livery, which has been simplified to really include just two colors, blue and white. Gone is the classic yellow that defined the airline. Now it’s a more simple and some may say sleeker color scheme.
The changes comes on a special date, as it’s the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Lufthansa Crane, the logo that appeared when the first Lufthansa was formed, before World War 2 led to its dissolution and reforming in the 1950s.
“The crane logo represents Lufthansa and Lufthansa represents the crane,” said Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr in a press conference in Frankfurt. Spohr added that although the crane represents tradition , Lufthansa has always managed to step up to challenges and evolve, just as the crane logo has evolved over time. With the logo on everything from napkins to the tail of the plane, Lufthansa claims that over 45,000 cranes take off whenever a LH aircraft takes to the skies.
Last week, photos of the new livery leaked and sparked some intense reactions on social media. Lots of people were not happy to see the color known as RAL 1028 Melon Yellow leave the outside of the Lufthansa’s aircraft.
The airplane’s fin will keep the crane, but with a thinner white circle around the bird, and with just a deep blue look. Still the yellow exists on one small area, near the door furthest towards the cockpit, where a small yellow “welcome panel” will greet customers.
Yellow is not completely gone from the airline’s branding. You’ll still see it at the gate, or in the completely yellow boarding pass. Flight attendants’ scarves will include yellow accents and you’ll see it in amenity kits, blankets and pillowcases.
“Every detail of the design was reworked — to meet the requirements of the digital age,” Lufthansa said in a statement. The last time the livery was changed (very slightly) was 30 years ago, so Lufthansa executives thought it was time to modernize.
Lufthansa says that 40 aircraft will be repainted by the end of 2018 and it will take seven years for the entire fleet to look the same.
But why get rid of the yellow, such an iconic symbol of the brand, and replace it with a color scheme that three other European airlines share? Lufthansa executives remarked that they didn’t think yellow worked on the interior of the plane, so that’s why they didn’t want it on the exterior. They kept coming back to the point that it was time to modernize and evolve.
“The yellow will not be abolished… [but] will be used more efficiently,” said Alexander Schlaubitz, the airline’s VP of marketing. Schlaubitz assured naysayers that this move wouldn’t be the death of Lufthansa, mentioning how everyone thought Apple would go down the drain when it removed the color from its logo.
Two aircraft with the new design (currently the only two with the refreshed livery), a Boeing 747-8 and an Airbus A321, will embark on a European tour on Thursday, making appearances at 10 German airports as well as Milan (MXP) and Paris (CDG).
At an event later Wednesday evening in a Frankfurt airport hangar, Lufthansa executives revealed the new livery in public for the first time. The 747-8, the backbone of Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet, was shown in a snazzy display, and Lufthansa employees roared when the lights finally pointed towards the jumbo jet.
A surprise came just two minutes after the big reveal — the A321 in the new colors flew in from Munich, and pulled up two minutes after the 747 could be clearly seen.
Guests were able to snap photos with the double-decker bird. Note that the gold letters in the photo below were only projected onto the airplane for the event.
Lufthansa shared some photos of the plane with journalists. Here’s what it looks like in its element, on an airport tarmac.
At the press conference, Spohr was asked whether Lufthansa is interested in buying Alitalia, the Italian flag carrier, in its current form. Spohr said he’s not, and only if it was restructured would the Lufthansa Group consider purchasing the bankrupt airline. Lufthansa also recently started incorporating parts of Air Berlin’s now defunct fleet into its own. Spohr said he thinks they’ll get another 35 Air Berlin aircraft on top of the 35 they are currently wet-leasing, with the crews included.
Lufthansa is also focused on growing its low-cost carrier Eurowings significantly in the upcoming years, increasing its fleet up to 200 aircraft.
Featured image by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy.
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