LONDON — Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus, unveiled its new livery and corporate image at an event in Dublin, revealing a predominantly white scheme, getting rid of the green fuselage.

The airline surprisingly removed most of the green color from the airplane’s fuselage, adopting the ubiquitous Eurowhite design that reigns in the European continent.

Photo: Aer Lingus

According to Aer Lingus, the new brand identity supports the airline’s ambition to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic.

The new logo retains but restyles the iconic shamrock, adding a tilt to symbolise dynamism and speed, with heart-shaped leaves reflecting the warmth and hospitality of the brand.  

Guests will see four shamrocks on the new Aer Lingus aircraft livery.  The first is within the new logo, the second sits on the tailfin, a third welcomes guests at the door, and a final surprise on the wingtip is in prime position for capturing on social media.

Aer Lingus CEO On New Look

Following the unveiling of the new livery in Dublin, Aer Lingus CEO, Sean Doyle said, “Aer Lingus is a modern Irish international success story, built on hard work, enterprise and the commitment of our people.”

“We’re delighted to unveil our brand refresh today, which comes more than 20 years after Aer Lingus last invested in new brand livery, and reflects our position as a modern, contemporary airline.”

“Aer Lingus has had exceptional success in recent years: adding new routes, new aircraft, new jobs and new opportunities for colleagues and guests alike.”

Aer Lingus, Chief Executive Officer, Sean Doyle

“The refreshed brand reflects an airline that connects those living in Montreal to Marseilles; in Berlin to Boston; as well as those living in Cork to Croatia,” he said.

“The benefit for Ireland of being at the fulcrum of such connections is considerable and we in Aer Lingus are determined to realise this potential for Ireland,” Doyle noted.

The airline’s CEO revealed that he has ambitious plans for Aer Lingus’s future, yet he is “aware of challenges facing the modern industry.”

Doyle noted that the airline’s new uniforms will be unveiled later this year.

“Our fleet expansion will enable us realize our ambition to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic,” he concluded.

New Aircraft, New Era.

One part of Aer Lingus’s ambitious plans is to utilise their incoming fleet of new Airbus A321neoLR (Long range) aircraft on a variety of routes to the East Coast of the United States of America.

Aer Lingus A321 NEO LR

The new long-range version of Airbus’s successful A321 will position the carrier to serve thinner transatlantic routes, where passenger numbers are not enough to sustain widebody aircraft such as the A330, which have traditionally been flown using the venerable single aisle Boeing 757.

The Airbus A321 NEO LR will replace the Boeing 757s which ASL Airlines operate on behalf of Aer lingus. Author: BriYYZ

The New Brand

The new look Aer Lingus brand will be introduced today across the airline’s app, website, guest check-in and boarding gates. 

This brand refresh is being delivered in an attempt to keep with Aer Lingus’ value carrier model, as part of the company’s business as usual aircraft painting programme.

All new aircraft will be delivered sporting the new livery and the updating of digital assets has been done in a highly cost-effective manner.

The first A330 wearing the new livery (A330-300 series aircraft, EI-EDY, St Munchin) was unveiled at an event in Aer Lingus’ Hangar 6 at Dublin Airport, where it had been painted on-site.

The A320 (A320-200 series aircraft, EI-CVA, St Schira.) flew from Shannon Airport, where it had been painted.

The new liveried A330 aircraft will take to the skies for the first time on Friday 18 January, operating flight EI105, where it will be met by a reception at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Aer Lingus pilots pose in front of Airbus A330 sporting the new livery

The airline was keen to point out that deciding the design for its new look livery and Shamrock design was not a simple task.

More than 50 shamrock designs were considered as part of the brand refresh process, the airline revealed.

Hundreds of items across every aspect of the business were audited for the refreshed brand identity to improve the guest experience.

The list included everything from the Aer Lingus check-in desks, to airport signage, to lounges, to onboard menus, and everything else in between.

An aircraft is usually repainted every seven to eight years. When an aircraft goes in for painting, the critical areas that aren’t going to be painted are protected. The fuselage and wings are metal and stripper is applied to remove the paint followed by primer.

A TigerAir A320 being repainted into the Scoot livery

Composite areas, such as the tailplane, are sanded down. The aircraft is then washed down and a base coat and top coat are applied followed by a clear coat.

A wide-body aircraft takes about 10 days and about 850 litres of paint, the narrow-body takes between seven and eight days and uses around 500 litres.

The thickness of the paint can vary slightly so it’s measured and its effect on the aircraft weight is taken into account. Our Airbus A330s can weigh up to 233,000kg while an Airbus A320 can be 73,500kg.

New Livery, Mixed Reactions

While Aer Lingus has been keen to portray the new look in the best possible way on social media, the general response from social media has not been really positive.

Experts in the field complain that yet another colorful livery is disappearing in favor of the too-common Eurowhite scheme, which has the aircraft’s fuselage painted in white and just a dash of color on the plane’s tail.

Others argue that IAG’s influence on the livery’s design is obvious, as the overall structure is too similar to that of Iberia,LEVEL, and Vueling–three of the five airlines within the IAG portfolio.

“Another one for the ‘tail split from the fuselage’ designs… Screams generic and uninspiring,” said a user via Twitter.

Professional aviation photographer Enda Burke, commented that Aer Lingus’s jets “were predominantly green and were instantly recognizable from afar. Now they are identical to Iberia, Air Transat, Qantas, and Lufthansa, to name a few.”

Another user said that the new livery is plain and boring. “No imagination… they’re just following the likes of Iberia and Lufthansa. Cheaper to maintain must be the reason for so much white,” he said.

Renowned aviation analyst, Alex Macheras, pointed out that “IAG Group killed Aer Lingus’s ionic green livery, replacing it with a new, uninspiring livery.”

Other users joke that Aer Lingus’s name should have changed to O’beria, given the high similitude between both airlines’ livery.

Despite all of this, however, the Irish carrier will move forward carrying its new colors with pride. Together with a new fleet of planes, their growing presence in the North Atlantic will surely bring positive news in the near and long-term future.