Cathay Pacific Reveal New Livery To Match New Brand

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Cathay Pacific today revealed their long awaited livery, which features a few simple changes to radically change their aircraft’s appearance. Designed in collaboration with design firm Eight Partnership, this new look new livery will be progressively introduced onto all the aircraft in its fleet. The livery was showcased on one of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at a special event held at Hong Kong International Airport.

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Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “Today represents the beginning of a new era for Cathay Pacific. We are very happy and proud to unveil our new aircraft livery which represents our journey into the future and also celebrates the many great things we have achieved over the past seven decades as the home carrier of Hong Kong.” Mr Chu said that the new livery is a continuation of the work that began last year to refresh Cathay Pacific’s brand identity.

“The livery is a vital part of our brand image – a symbol of the company’s values displayed on our most important physical asset. The livery represents Cathay Pacific in and out of Hong Kong and every time our aircraft take off or touch down in our network of destinations around the world,” he said.

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The update to the livery is part of a series of ongoing improvements to Cathay Pacific’s customer experience. These include not only the new livery, but also the website and mobile app, as well as major enhancements to the airline’s airport lounges in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok and beyond.

Iain Richardson, Creative Director at Eight Partnership explains “The ongoing improvements to the Cathay customer experience have established a clear sense of the design philosophy that represents the brand. As a key part of that exercise, the livery was redesigned to be consistent and also represent a more unified design approach.”


The new Airbus A350 series will be the first fleet to launch with the new livery. However, the airline’s existing fleet will be repainted with the new livery as aircraft go through their normal maintenance schedule over the next five years, with some 150 aircraft getting the new look in total.

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Taking six months from inception to roll-out, the creative process included a wide-ranging exploration of different designs, experimenting with different colours and effects, as well as consulting on the implementation challenges with the engineering team.

The new livery comprises three key design elements: the incorporation of the updated and streamlined brushing, first introduced in 1994 and updated in October 2014; a simplification of the colour palette to Cathay Pacific green, grey and white; and a more prominent display of the Cathay Pacific name and brushwing. These updates are most evident on three areas of the aircraft: the nose, the fuselage and the tail.

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The new livery design may feel like a basic change to an already iconic livery, but the changes bring together new brand elements that sit perfectly, reflecting the new image of the carrier launched last year. At the nose, the iconic ‘brushwing’ has been increased in size and freed from the green band that used to surround the nose. The Cathay Pacific name, or ‘wordmark’, now sits above the windows. Matching the new logo the letters are now all uppercase, so that the wordmark is more prominent. These changes make the aircraft easily identifiable as Cathay Pacific from the front.

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The biggest change is in the tail, which now displays a brushwing against an all-green tail, removing the red key-line. This is the same green as on the previous livery, but now a colour gradient runs along the back edge of the tail, subtly deepening the tone of the green background in that area. Additionally, the brushwing appears ‘clipped’ at the back of the tail. This allows us to keep the brushwing prominent on differing tail proportions, for all types of aircraft.

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Our take? We actually love the new livery. Whilst it may be pretty much what we were expecting to see (pairing back the unnecessary livery items – such as red key line and bar of green on the nose) we would expect a similar design. This design is actually a very elegant adaptation of the previous livery, appearing timeless and elegant – it also will sit with the current livery design, so as not to create too jarring a consistency with the fleet as it undergoes a repaint over the next 5 years. We love the grey band that runs along the fuselage, especially how it is raised, and offers a white belly, which creates a smart, well balanced colour scheme.

We cannot wait to see it rolled out over the upcoming years.

11 comments

  1. Pingback: CX neuer look

  2. Nice! At first it may look a little ‘bland’ compared to the previous one, but I agree that it’s a good change to discard the unnecessary items. Quite funny even, as the previous livery looks a bit ‘dated’ with the red accents to me (although I may be biased as I practically grew up with that livery). Now it looks more elegant, timeless, classic and definitely more regal. Less is more and they definitely refined that at Cathay Pacific.

  3. Adam

    I find it rather bland and uninspired. Really, it seems the entire livery “redesign” simply consisted of removing key elements of the brand instead of updating them. The toned-down cheatline, the removal of the red keyline, and the clipping of the brushwing aren’t exactly earth shattering. While I find AA heinous as an airline – for a variety of reasons – at least their AA went through a rebranding as well and kept their color palette but saw something radical that catches the eye and makes it distinctly American Airlines. I don’t particularly care for it, but at least it’s new and fresh. Some could say it’s too radical and diverts from the airline’s past, but at least it’s easy to spot. And isn’t the livery really about advertising? To the untrained spectator, it would be difficult to spot what exactly CX has done here. At best it’s minimal to the point of boring and uninspired. At worst, it will lose whatever eye-catching qualities attract new passengers.

  4. Kenneth

    A welcome improvement! This is a much cleaner design. I particularly like that the ‘wordmark’ has been raised above the windows.

  5. Flyingbee

    Unfortunatley I am not so positive about the new direction: I miss communication “power”in the new design. It plays too much on the safe side, I miss the vibrant touch that reflects the energy of the city and their people, it is too corporate “grey” and missing sings of life. It simply disapear in a hazy sky. I will have to wait some good years for a change.
    Talking about the company and the passenger comfort on the other hand is excellent and looking forward to fly with them again!

  6. Jonnie

    I completely agree with Adam…what was the poi t of this exercise if you have basically the same design? I hope they didn’t pay any actual money for it and it was a free project done by an intern at the design firm. The old livery was better.

  7. So many great elements but the overall design is lacking…the livery looks unfinished. I know its dated, but bring back the bright green and the two white tail stripes!

  8. KChan

    It is difficult to endorse the new livery design. Simple design requires spot-on arrangement of elements (thus excellent sense of design) and I don’t think the new design leaves me this impression. It does not give most people an outstanding first impression, in particular those we are still seeing the former design. That already is a failure from a branding standpoint. You don’t have time these days to get people to like you – you need love at first sight. It does look better when the grey strip becomes less prominent under direct sunlight – I reckon if that whole strip sinks lower towards the belly, or simply take it out, the whole design will look better. Landon previous design is not “unnecessary” – the red element was drawn from old CX logo and uniform. The nose strip was an unique highlight of the design, and everything goes together well.

  9. Justin

    Disagree with Adam.

    Like AA, Cathay too went through a rebranding process. The change is subtle, yet sharp and neat. That decision would have been based on factors such as Cathay’s brand attributes and brand story. A rebrand doesn’t necessarily needs to be loud and radical – the key is about matching (sometimes finding, depends on the objectives) its profile and how to enhance it.

    In AA’s case they want a brand overhaul; Cathay’s is a brand refresh – two completely differently objectives, hence two very different outcomes. Basic branding logic really.

    As for the livery you need to understand it’s a further application development of the logo. Personally I think the job is nicely done – a subtle, almost understated approach.

  10. Nabe Tse Houston

    I was expecting something more inspiring. simple, clean and minimalist. And yet… it reminds me of Turkmenistan livery. Sorry.

  11. Ulas

    Is it just me or is this livery just a copy-paste of turkishairlines(red) – anadolujet(blue) ?

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