Top 5 Airline Liveries from Airlines that No Longer Exist

Let’s face it – the reason a lot of us have gotten into this whole airline thing is because when we were 8, we thought the colors on the planes were cool.  With that, I wanted to share my Top 5 Airline Liveries from Airlines That No Longer Exist.  As always, feel free to add your own…

1) Transtar – The deep, deep blue livery isn’t something you see every day.  In fact, you never see it.  I can’t imagine how hot it got in that plane when it was sitting in Houston for a few hours.  But it was unique and made quite a statement with its simplicity (even if that statement was:  “Damn, look at that blue plane.”)

2) New York Air – Maybe I just like solid, primary colors, but the candy apple red (punctuated with the Big Apple on the tail) was as recognizable as the bagels they handed out as meals on the airline.

3) Aloha Airlines – Nothing said, “Come have a threesome in Hawaii” more than the swinging font and flower-laden tail of the 1970s Aloha colors.  That font was likely outdated the moment they painted it on that plane.

4) Air Afrique – Perhaps it’s just because green is an under-used color on airplanes, but I’ve always liked Air Afrique’s paint job.  Or maybe there’s a reason it’s under-used.  Especially this two-tone green number.  Plus, since no Air Afrique flight ever left on time, you got to check it out for a while.

5) Princeville Airways – I saw this on my first trip to Hawaii a hundred thousand years ago, and it always stuck with me.  The tree on the tail (which is the logo of the Princeville development on Kauai) is pretty unique, as you don’t see too many trees on planes (except on Middle East Airlines – but they’re still flying.)


  1. Two of my personal favorites of the past were Western Airlines and National Airlines.

    Western had the giant red “W” painted on the front of the plane that went the length of the plane. It could be seen for miles and always made me think of “Wally” the parrot that sat on the tail and said “The ONLY way to fly” while taking a puff on his cigar.

    National Airlines had the cool inverted “Sun King” face painted into the symbol of the sun. Being that it was based in Miami, they played up the whole sunshine thing even to their mini skirted “stewardesses” who loved to say “hi, I’m Marilyn……Fly me!” or “i’m Suzie, Fly me!”

    Ah, the good old days!

  2. Both of those are great choices. The Western ‘W’ was quite cool, and I always liked the ‘happy sun’ on National. It was less happy when it was sucked into the dying Pan Am empire though :)

  3. I used to love the NATIONAL Airlines “Sun King” face, though I thought their livery looked much better on their 727’s than on their other aircraft.

    I also miss HUGHES AIR WEST with their solid-yellow planes & stylized, geometric blue logo.

    But I’m amazed you didn’t mention the “Flying Colors” BRANIFF INTERNATIONAL! Seeing their bold, solid-color liveries was always an eye-catching sight. They had TWO co-existing liveries(the “Ultra” and the “2-Tone”), each of which came in several different color schemes. Seeing a collection of their 727’s lined up at their main terminal in Dallas was a pscychedelic sight I will never forget. It was like looking at a collection of giant Crayola crayons with wings.

    The BRANIFF “2-Tone” livery–which came in Blue, Green, Red & Orange variations–was(and is) my all-time favorite airline livery…