United CEO Says a Livery Change Is Coming This Year
It appears as if 2019 is shaping up to be quite the year of change at United. Not only will flight attendants be encouraged to "show personality" while on the job, but the airline is planning to invest in paint, too. CEO Oscar Munoz said Thursday that United will roll out a new livery beginning in April. It will be, Munoz said, more of an "evolution" than "a revolution."
The news came during the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit 2019 in Washington DC. Currently, United leans on a modified version of the former Continental Airlines globe livery, in a nod to the merger between the two airlines in 2010.
According to FlightGlobal, the update "will incorporate some of the colors United has recently added to its branding palette that, for example, include the purple used for its new premium economy product and a new shade of blue dubbed 'Rhapsody Blue'. One color that is likely to feature less prominently is gold, which is currently used as a cheatline between the white upper fuselage and grey belly, and in the globe on the tail."
It's possible that United's own design framework for its Her Art Here contest, which invites women to create a new design for a United aircraft exterior, holds loose clues to the forward direction.
The fresh scheme will be introduced in phases, likely hitting new aircraft deliveries like the 787-10 first, with older jets to be spiffed up during routine maintenance downtime. United is scheduled to take delivery of 40 aircraft this year, including 20 Boeing 737 MAX 9s and 8 of the extended-length 787-10 Dreamliners. Perhaps it'll also add the new livery to those blinged-out 50-seat regional jets — the ones with walk-up bars and closets for carry-on bags.
This article has been updated to reference United's Her Art Here design contest.