Best Airline Liveries

The 15 Best Airline Liveries in 2024

By Devon Wood
October 23, 20237 minutes
An Embraer E2 in a black and gold livery at a French Air Show.

For passengers and plane spotters alike, seeing special airline liveries is a thrilling experience. From bold colors to intricate designs and special themes, these unique paint schemes are fairly easy to identify on an airliner.

Airlines use liveries to commemorate significant events, showcase partnerships, promote special causes, or enliven their branding. After seeing this list, we hope you can appreciate the creativity and artistry that goes into the development of these special liveries. Here, we will unveil 15 of the most stunning airline liveries in the world.

Icelandair “Hekla Aurora”

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 757-200
  • Livery Debut: 2015
  • Registration: TF-FIU

Kicking off our list is this stunning Nordic jet from Icelandair. The Hekla Aurora livery is a stunning example of how airlines can use design to celebrate their country's unique culture and beauty. The design, which features a colorful aurora borealis pattern, is a nod to Iceland's spectacular northern lights, a natural phenomenon that can be seen in the country between the months of September to April.

Taking a look at the interior, Icelandair outfitted the interior with LED lights above to provide passengers with their own northern lights show during flight.

This livery is also a part of Icelandair’s marketing campaign, Icelandair Stopover, which encourages trans-atlantic travelers to enjoy a layover stay in Iceland. At no additional airfare cost, you can stay in Iceland from one to seven days to experience Iceland's natural beauty and rich culture. 

Emirates Expo 2020

A side-profile view of the Emirates A380 Dubai Expo livery.

Source: Emirates

  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A380-800
  • Livery Debut: 2021
  • Registration: A6-EEU

A staple for Emirates liveries, this paint scheme was created to celebrate the World Expo which was hosted in Dubai from October 2021 to March 2022. This livery is notably bold and different from the standard white and gold we are used to seeing from the flag carrier from the U.A.E. The jumbo jet has a vibrant blue background and several other colors that make it stand out from a normal airliner.

An aircraft livery like this required the fuselage to undergo a complete paint stripping, and was repainted using electrostatic spray guns. According to Emirates, the entire job was completed in 16 days, with over 4,300 hours of labor. 

ANA “Flying Honu Lani”

  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A380-800
  • Livery Debut: 2019
  • Registration: JA381A

Another stunning A380, All Nippon Airway’s Honu Lani was the first of three flying sea turtles in the airline’s fleet. Lani, along with its sibling A380s Ka La, and Kai, have stood as spectacles for all travelers and planespotters around the world. They represent ANA’s commitment to preservation of Hawaiian wildlife, specifically sea turtles. 

Just recently, ANA announced that after a long three year wait Flying Honu Lani is resuming flights between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Honolulu Hawaii (HNL)

Scoot “Pikachu Jet TR”

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
  • Livery Debut: 2022
  • Registration: 9V-OJJ

Scoot is one of a few Asian airlines with a Pokemon-themed plane. This Dreamliner features Pikachu along with Pichu, Psyduck, Shaymin, Celebi, Lapras, and Meganium. There are also Pokemon on both wings that can be seen from inside the cabin, and the Pokeball on both engines are a neat little touch.

This 787 is a part of the larger “Pokémon Air Adventures Experience” that Scoot created to provide a more exciting and unique flight for passengers. On board, guests can spot a number of other cool design elements, such as character prints on the overhead bins and seatbacks, and even Pokemon-inspired amenities.

United Airlines “The Rise of Skywalker”

The United Boeing 737 in its "Rise of Skywalker" livery landing at San Diego International Airport.

Source: Lindyflight

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800
  • Livery Debut: 2019
  • Registration: N36272

Back in 2019, United Airlines joined forces with the creators of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to create an aircraft paint design that commemorated the launch of the much-anticipated film. The left side of the plane (shown above) displayed a blue color scheme to represent the light side, while the right side (shown below) was painted red to represent the dark side.

Taking a closer look, there are many different spaceships from the movie over the fuselage’s galactic backdrop.

Unfortunately, this 737 was repainted in 2022 when the contract between the airline and studio concluded. However it will still be regarded as one of the coolest, most novel special liveries ever to see the skies.

JetBlue “Blueprint”

  • Aircraft Type: Embraer E190
  • Livery Debut: 2017
  • Registration: N304JB

JetBlue is an airline that is known to have a variety of liveries and tail patterns, but this is by far the favorite for me. This livery features an x-ray sketch that highlights more than 50 engineering and design features of the jet that passengers may never think about.

Some mechanicals elements that are showcased include the nose gear, engine turbine, and heads-up display. The “Blueprint” also displays some of the quirkier, more novel items passengers may end up having stored in the front and rear cargo compartments, such as a piñata. JetBlue stated that this E190 took over two weeks to redecorate, which is not surprising given the many intricacies through the design. Overall, this livery is a really neat concept and certainly one to look out for on select JetBlue routes.

Etihad Airways “Choose Thailand”

Ethiad's "Choose Thailand" 787 Dreamliner on short final in front of large clouds.
  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
  • Livery Debut: 2019
  • Registration: A6-BLJ

Etihad Airways' "Choose Thailand" was created as part of the “Choose” livery series that  celebrates the carrier’s partnerships with tourism boards across the world. The livery features a colorful and vibrant floral design inspired by Thai culture. The sleek design of the 787 and classic Etihad tail pattern also make this livery a standout. 

Southwest Airlines “Freedom One”

Southwest's "Freedom One" livery jet on short final to San Diego International Airport.

Source: Lindyflight

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800
  • Livery Debut: 2021
  • Registration: W500NR

The Freedom One livery was created in honor of Southwest’s 50th anniversary and “Freedom” of flight the carrier has provided across the country during that time. It pays tribute to the United States, its military, and the 50,000+ employees serving Southwest Airlines. The fuselage is cloaked in an American flag, with 50 stars and 13 stripes. It took 14 days, 15 colors, and over 60 gallons of paint to finish the airline’s masterpiece.

American Airlines “American Heritage”

An American Airlines 737 dressed in a polished aluminum retro livery.
  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800
  • Livery Debut: 2017
  • Registration: N921NN

A throwback from the 1970s, the AA American heritage pays tribute to a design that many US travelers will remember from the airline’s early days. The polished aluminum is a classic look that was used on a lot of American’s fleet, including the MD-80, MD-11, 757, and 747. Over 50 years later, it's great to see this retro livery still alive, as it carries on some of the rich history of America’s commercial aviation.

Alaska Airlines “More to Love”

Alaska Airlines A321 in the "More to Love" livery landing at San Diego International Airport.

Source: Lindyflight

  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A321 Neo
  • Livery Debut: 2018
  • Registration: N926VA

N926VA’s livery came about from the merger between Virgin American and Alaska Airlines - providing more flights, more low fares, more rewards, and ultimately “more to love” for travelers. This ombré styling blends the traditional red of Virgin with the dark blue common in Alaska’s branding. In between, the middle of the fuselage and engines have a purplish hue. The same More to Love livery can also be seen on an Alaska Airlines 737-900ER.

Westjet Disney Magic Plane

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800
  • Livery Debut: 2013
  • Registration: C-GWSZ

A fascinating livery for Disney fans, this magical paint scheme came about from a partnership between Westjet and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts of Canada. The Magic Plane took over three weeks to paint, and features 36 different colors across the aircraft’s exterior. Its inaugural flight was back in 2013, when it flew from Calgary, Canada to Orlando, Florida. 

Brussels Airlines “Rackham”

  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A320
  • Livery Debut: 2015
  • Registration: OO-SNB

One of the most popular liveries in Europe, Brussels Airlines’ “Rackham” is disguised as a shark submarine from “The Adventures of Tintin”. Tintin is a Brussels-native comic book character that has been a part of Belgium’s history since 1929. An adventurous explorer himself, it was very fitting to put Tintin on a plane that travels the world. Rackham was the Belgian airline’s first ever livery, and has certainly gained a lot of attention from both plane spotters and traditional media alike.

EVA Air Hello Kitty “Friendship Bows”

  • Aircraft Type: Airbus A321-200
  • Livery Debut: 2017
  • Registration: B-16207

EVA Air worked together with Sanrio, the owners of the Hello Kitty brand, to bring a full line of cartoon-inspired special liveries. The fuselage of this A321 features Hello Kitty, a few other Sanrio characters, and a bunch of bow ties (which are symbolic for friendship). The Taiwanese airline hopes to provide travelers with a joyful, memorable experience with Hello Kitty themed amenities and other merchandise onboard.

Cargolux “Cutaway”

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 747-8
  • Livery Debut: 2015
  • Registration: LX-VCM

The Luxembourg-based freighter company debuted “Cutaway” several years ago, but is still one of the most intricate and iconic designs on a 747. In honor of Cargolux’s 45th anniversary, this special livery was designed by Belgian cartoonist Phillipe Cruyt. The jumbo jet features drawings of the most extraordinary cargo that has come aboard over the years. From flowers, fruits, birds, and giraffes, to cars, helicopters, fighter jets, and even outer space rovers - this livery pays tribute to the fascinating stories in global transport.

ANA “R2D2”

  • Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
  • Livery Debut: 2015
  • Registration: JA873A

With the final best airline livery, we have the All Nippon Airways R2D2. One of ANA’s Star Wars Jets, the nose and front of this Dreamliner is painted to resemble that beloved droid. While the Japanese airline retired its Boeing 777 BB-8 livery, R2-D2 can still be seen flying today. The JA873A currently has international flights out of Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND), with destinations including Los Angeles (LAX), Frankfurt (FRA), Paris (CDG), and Mumbai (BOM).


There you have it - the best airline liveries to exist (in our humble opinion). Liveries are a fun way for airlines to embrace creativity and expand beyond their ordinarily subtle branding. In a sea of traditional paint schemes, these rare, vibrant designs are exciting spectacles. Be on the lookout next time you’re traveling through an airport - you may just spot one of these special planes!

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