[>talkbranding] Cultural Fever Hits Russian Airlines

By Kai-Chin Shih/ 14 JUL 2014/ ANNARBORMICHIGAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com

A few months ago UTair Express, the Syktyvkar-based regional subsidiary of UTair Aviation, celebrated the delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 with the introduction of a culturally rich livery exclusive to the aircraft type. This is one of the few culture-inspired liveries Russian carriers have introduced in recent years and have definitely made the skies of the federation more interesting than ever.

In the past decade, air carriers from all around the world have been rather enthusiastic about introducing special liveries that celebrate their native countries’ history and heritage. Some beautiful aircrafts that emerged from the trend include the series of special liveries Air China introduced back in the mid-2000s, the “Valletta Skyline” livery by Air Malta, the “Mendoowoorrji” aborigianl livery by Qantas, the “Masalu! Taiwan” aboriginal livery of China Airlines, and the corporate liveries of ‘Ohana’ by Hawaiian & Fiji Airways.

China Airlines "Masalu! Taiwan" Special Livery

China Airlines “Masalu! Taiwan” Special Livery

Recently, the trend got picked up by the carriers in the Slavic region and led to yet another emergence of impressive works. In 2009, UTair Aviation became the first airline in the region to introduce a livery inspired by local culture. The corporate livery designed for its Ukrainian subsidiary, UTair Ukraine, featured Ukrainian embroidery-style floral patterns. A few years later in 2013, Aeroflot introduced a special Khokhloma-style livery to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Khokhloma is a type of Russian folk craft that features paintings of flower patterns in gold, red, and black colors. The incorporation of the Khokhloma element into the design of an aircraft livery resulted in one of the most special liveries of all times. “B. Borisov”, the Sukhoi Superjet wearing the livery, is now, arguably, the most majestic bird of the skies.

Aeroflot "90 Years In The Sky" Sukhoi SSJ-100-95B Superjet 100 (RRJ-95B)

Aeroflot “90 Years In The Sky” Sukhoi SSJ-100-95B Superjet 100 (RRJ-95B)

In May 2014, UTair decided to once again celebrate its Slavic heritage by designing a Russian-style corporate livery for its subsidiary UTair Express. This particular livery is rather similar to the Aeroflot 90th Anniversary special livery. They were both inspired by the Khokhloma art and featured many identical patterns. Yet, UTair Express took a different approach. The carrier decided to create a folk livery instead of a “grandiose” one. Using a plain white background while avoiding the color gold and incorporating sky blue colors, the UTair Express livery successfully distinguished itself from the Aeroflot one while maintaining the beauty of Russian art.

The new UTair Express livery and the Aeroflot 90th anniversary livery showcase Russian aircraft painting creativity at its best. Never has Russian skies been this colorful and interesting. As air travel grow in Russia and neighbouring CIS states, there will surely be more aircrafts wearing culturally rich liveries that have more than just horizontal lines and large color forms. >talkairlines looks forward to more special liveries and creative corporate liveries in not only the Slavic regions but countries worldwide.



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