The 787 Dreamliner is an attractive aircraft to airlines in all corners of the globe in this difficult economic climate, due to its long range, good fuel consumption, and comfort of passengers.
It led me to wonder about the 33 airlines currently operating the 787 Dreamliner (as of November 2015), and I ask the question: which of them has the best livery on this distinctive aircraft? Most airlines have the same livery on all their aircraft, but the shape and size of the 787 Dreamliner lends itself well to ‘fitting’ a good livery more than most.
So let’s take a look at them. Copyright belongs to some of the photos in the gallery:
The launch customer of the 787 way back in 2011 was All Nippon Airways and they are clearly very proud of this fact, as they have the ‘787’ logo on their own livery. Otherwise, it looks pretty good, but nothing special. Yet ANA’s livery is clearly better than Japan Airlines, who utilise a lot of white space and their logo, but it seems like a missed opportunity. Air India and Kenya Airways suffer from the same problem. United have a lot of white on their livery, yet unlike JAL and AI they seem to create a good form with a few intricate lines here and there.
Seeing as they are all owned by the same company, it should come as no surprise that Arke, Jetairfly and Thomson Airways have identical liveries, albeit with different branding. I like this livery a lot; it looks very smart, but not overbearing. The same could be said of Jetstar‘s silver and orange livery. It looks extremely smart and would look even better in the sun’s glare. Royal Brunei, Azerbaijan Airlines and LOT Polish have pretty standard liveries, that look neither good nor bad – much like the airlines themselves, I guess.
Ethiopian Airlines is an interesting one. I like their colourful tail flag, and the extra large font ETHIOPIAN in red lettering actually complements the otherwise sparse livery very well. I think ET have done very well with this. So have LAN. Their livery is very nice, with again, the extra large font at the front, with a nice design at the rear. I think the less said about Norwegian Air Shuttle the better – and what on earth is happening with Royal Air Maroc? It has an appalling livery, as far as I’m concerned.
On the subject of poor liveries, I just cannot warm to those on either Air Canada or Avianca. They are both very boring liveries – and boring airlines too, on the whole. Xiamen Airlines are an exotic airline that I have never flown with, but they do not impress with their own livery on the Dreamliner. I am not sure what to think about Oman Air – their livery is a little messy, as far as I’m concerned, but it may grow on me.
Scoot, a low-budget airline, has a wild livery of striking yellow and white, and it really catches the eye. However, is it TOO bright and thus off-putting? I think so. Virgin Atlantic have a pretty cool livery, and although I usually don’t like basic red and white colour schemes, you have to admit that Virgin seem to do it just right. Thai Airways have a completely white livery that is saved only by the sexy purple tailfin. I do like Thai Airways colours and it stands them out from the crowd – without ever being too impressive.
China Southern and British Airways begin the more interesting liveries in this gallery, in my opinion. I love both of them, and of course BA looks very smart and traditional, yet the somewhat extravagance of China Southern is a welcome surprise from what I consider to be a very reserved airline normally. I also am in love with the livery of Aeromexico. It may be somewhat similar to the style of LAN, but the red wavy stripe across the fuselage wins it for me. The liveries of Vietnam Airlines and American Airlines are also typically very smart.
Air New Zealand have a really smart livery on their 787 Dreamliner, and it is actually different to the regular livery of their aircraft (such as B777 and narrowbody planes). Without being overpowering, the black plane just works and makes it stand out from the runway, whatever the weather. Another change of livery for their modern aircraft has came from Etihad, whose sleek and slender fuselage is now complemented with a cool new tailfin design, which is one of the better liveries here. I have always liked the livery of KLM on any of its aircraft – even narrowbodies – as it is extremely smart and light blue and whites go very well together in its particular style, and this is personified by its appearance on the 787 Dreamliner.
Hainan Airlines have a great striking colour base to work from and their livery on the 787 is undoubtedly for me one of the best – in fact, the third best on this list. It just looks incredible; not too much colour, not too much white – just perfect. The second best livery on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has to go to Royal Jordanian. Everything about it is just professional and even luxurious. The refine gold mixed in discreetly with the black really make it a pleasure to look at.
However, for me, the absolute best livery of the 787 Dreamliner has to belong to Qatar Airways. On no other aircraft (not even the Airbus A380) does Qatar’s livery look so perfect. The grey and the purple hugging the 787 fuselage is great to see, and much like Jetstar’s livery, it looks even better when the sun is shining off it. It must be amazing to see Qatar Airways’s 787 in the flesh!
Please note, some photos in this post have been sourced from online. Please credit the true photographers, where possible, many of whom are listed on the actual pictures themselves.
Page last updated 27 November, 2015.