From time to time I like to share images of nice our colourful liveries I have come across...here is one of the latest: a China Southern Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a fresh-looking pale blue livery that contrast nicely with the strong red of China Southern's logo...the snowy peaks of British Columbia add to the scene too!
In case you didn't know, in addition of being an aviation enthusiast, the editor of this blog is a fervent Football Club Barcelona supporter, so you can imagine how I feel when seeing Qatar Airways' FC Barcelona livery on one of my favourite airliners, the Boeing 777.
And, from what we heard, it might not be the only FC Barcelona aircraft on Qatar Airways' fleet for too long!
It is nice to see charter airlines making a real effort to roll out a cool nicely-designed branding strategy, we saw it last summer when we covered Small Planet Airlines and here is another great example: out of Finland comes Snowbird Airlines.
The aim of this fresh project, a charter airline, is not only to carry holidaymakers to and from Finland, but also to act as a sort of public display for Finnish products (food, handicrafts, design). Snowbird is actually inviting those small businesses, food producers and designers that wish to be featured on-board to submit their proposals.
This is one of the aspects of this project that I found most interesting: the Snowbird Airlines brand, whose logo was designed by Sami Wirkkala, has been developed from the very beginning with the idea that it might also be used "on the ground", as a sort of "lifestyle brand", for example by opening brick-and-mortar stores where it would be possible to find the unique Nordic products that will be promoted on board. Certainly not the first airline to leverage the aspirational strength of a brand strongly linked to travel and enjoyment, but remarkable that in this case, this aspect of business takes such the stage in such an obvious way.
Snowbird Airlines has even developed a "sister brand", called Lumilintu (which means "Snowbird" in Finnish) that, sporting the same logo as the airline, is going to undertake all these related marketing activities.
This focus on design reminds me a little bit of Nippon Nordic Air, the imaginary "ideal airline" dreamed up by Monocle magazine back in 2010. We are not quite there yet, but it, certainly, feels quite natural to see Nordic airlines at the forefront when it comes to taking a design-centric approach to new airline development.
Spanish flag carrier Iberia has just gone through a major rebranding, that has seen its traditional livery and logo dropped and the adoption of an entirely new corporate identity.
However, this has not prevented the Spanish airline from looking back to its roots and joining the "airline retro livery movement" applying this magnificent example of mid-20th Century aircraft livery design on one of its Airbus A319s.
Enjoy the views!
One of the (real) legendary airlines from the early times of aviation was the French Aéropostale, that even had among its pilots Antoine de Saint-Éxupery, of "Little Prince" fame. Aéropostale is no more, but its legacy somehow still lives on with Europe Airpost.
Now in Irish hands, although still based in France, Europe Airpost is one of those airlines that might not ring a bell with the general public, yet, it has quite a significant player in its market segment. In Europe Airpost's case, the core business, as the name implies has traditionally been cargo and mail services, however, and this is the reason we are featuring it here today, it is expanding into the scheduled passenger services market.
Europe Airpost is not exactly a newcomer to the business of transporting passengers: it already flies 660,000 passengers per year and out of its fleet of 17 Boeing 737s only 5 are uniquely dedicated to cargo, while 9 are Boeing 737 QC aircraft that can be converted from cargo to passenger transport and another 3 are for passenger services exclusively. Most of Europe Airpost's passenger transport activity, however, is in the charter and VIP transport market. This business mix might change a bit if the company consolidates itself in the scheduled market.
The airline is starting the year by launching scheduled passenger flights between regional French airports, such as Brest, Brive and Rennes and seasonal destinations such as Grenoble and Porto. But what I find most interesting in Europe Airpost's plans is its move into the scheduled Transatlantic market with its Boeing 737-700s with a new regular route between Paris, Glasgow and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the East Coast of Canada.
This new route is much in line with a trend we reported on a few days ago with new airlines venturing in the Transatlantic market with single-aisle aircraft and helping Halifax reclaim its historical role as the first port of call in the North American continent.