The new United Airlines livery on a Boeing 747.

The new United Airlines livery on a Boeing 747.

We have seen the new United livery on a Boeing 737, but now we can see it on the Boeing 747.  You know what? The more I see this livery the more I get used to it and the more I like it. I especially like this photo since we are not use to seeing these old Continental colors on a Boeing 747. How about you? Are you liking this new combined livery more?

Update: This photo is in fact a photoshop. I apologize for posting it saying it was a real photo, I was fooled as well. But it still shows very closely what the new United livery will look like on the Boeing 747.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Airline Livery of the Week: AIR DO Does it Wrong

Yee Haw! Wow. That bad boy is BIG!


The Continental livery was long in the tooth way before the merger. Now it’s just rediculous. And tell me: how exactly does a spinning globe logo relate to the name ‘United’?

Hit the nail on the head IMFerret! Continental worked with the globe because the globe is made up of continents, hence Continental, but what’s the relationship to United? There isn’t one. They should stick with the full United livery and name or the Continental livery and name. Both are nice looking. They’ve thrown out two babies and kept the loads of bathwater.

Jeff McGinty

I disagree, the glode symbolizes that we are linked or united globally.

Jeff McGinty

It is a symbol that we are linked or united globally.

Karamat Shaikh

It means unite the continents of the globe. Continental+United.

It relates because Smisek has an ego and he wants something from Continental in the new United, and even though he knows it is crap, he needs it. And is there any confirmation that this is real, it looks suspicious.

Uhm are you sure that’s a real photo? Geez

That is just sad 🙁

Jonathan Anderson

It sure looks like a toy that has been painted…the reflection on the side doesn’t look right. And I am not a fan, the idea of basic livery is nice but it lacks excitement. It feels to ’90’s…just look at the difference between that picture and this one

I like it! Much more positive image than that tired old tulip! Thumbs up from me…even if this a photoshop job.

Felix Unger II

Does it matter that the NEW United livery is CO’s 20 year OLD livery? A Back to the future thing???

No, it doesn’t bother me. The “new” UA livery is just a spin on that gawd-awful tulip.

Jeff McGinty

I agree! Let the tulip wilt.

Jeffrey Sarver

This scheme is make-do and will not last too long, fortunately. It is the most generic, dull and thoughtless compromise imaginable and just shows that this deal was done simply because of the usual misguided idea the bigger is better, which it rarely is. The airline industry, as I knew it, is gone. Uniformity and mediocrity are the way of the future in airline travel.

The worst thing about the Continental scheme is you can’t see the N-Number. It’s always down low and not visible from the front. Needs to be right next to the flag.

This livery looks absolutely terrible. The scheme United has right now is beautiful, modern, and way better than this crap which was never good to begin with. WHERE IS THE TULIP? That IS United Airlines. This is not United. United’s REAL logo looks better than this crap. I cannot believe this is what they came up with.

Richard Fedorco

Something isn’t correct about that photo. First, the 747’s United flies are powered by Pratt and Whitney engines. It appears in this photo, these are General Electric engines. Further, there is a oily streak on the tail – hardly something you would find on a newly painted aircraft. Not saying I could be wrong, but wondering where the photo credit is as well….

My favorite United livery was back when we were known as the “Friendly Skies.” But that is now ancient history. I think this new livery is simple, clean and classy. I like it a lot. Surprised to hear so
many negative comments.

What is United thinking? Their logo and color scheme is far better than Continental’s! Change your mind…PLEASE!

Let’s just keep the “U”’s more familiar and most United people would rather have it than anything from CO. Remember, UAL took over CO…even though that Smizek guy may be trying to run the show…

you really believe that…..

Sadly delusional. And in for a rude dose of reality.

Please, the further away from the bad taste United has left in many frequent fliers mouths, the better we are. I have flown on both airlines both domestic and international and I can truly say, the United flights were some of the most miserable experiences a very frequent flier has ever been forced to endure. OlLLLLLD planes, surly attendants, canceled flights. I only pray Continental can bring them up to there standards. p.s I would have rather seen the CO livery kept toatlly

the sunlight reflections doesnt seem to be natural light. looks more like a flash from a camera.

sorry, its photoshop UA planes have 10 windows in zone 2 where this one has 11, also on UA planes the windows start right after door 2 and this one they dont.

I do not believe this photo. The United Airlines Boeing 747-400 have PW engines. It is clearly evident that these are GE engines.

I think it looks good, but I do think they could have come up with something a bit more original than just adding United to the Continental livery.

Felix Unger II

That’s a DOUBLE BAGGER!!! BTW,Even if pix is “fake” it represents what the CO 20 year old NEW livery will look like. The NEW United livery is CO 20 year OLD livery? DOH!!! Does an airline CEO get drug tested??

Felix Unger II

Gee,ALL of the NEW United AC will be RETRO livery!!!! If this is actually it.

This ‘modification’ is mine. It was posted on the facebook page, The United / Continental Employees Solidarity & Support Team. I never intended to fool anyone. It is a modification of an Air Canada Boeing 747-400 (credit unknown). When United and Continental announced their new official livery and released that official shot of artist’s rendition 777 flying away, I was bothered by both the poor perspective of the picture and by the less than quality work of wrapping the name on fuselage. I therefore decided I would try my own. It was easy to modify pics of CO jets, but harder to paint planes that CO has never flown, like the 747-400. I also have a 787 pic modified as well on that facebook page.

And, yes, I could have modified a United 747, but I really liked this air to air photo and I didn’t know about (and frankly still don’t care about) the different engines. Interesting to hear experts dissect my modification talking about its validity or lack thereof.

And for the record, if the reflections are wrong, then they are wrong on the original photo, because I transfered them straight across with the exception of a little on the tail which didn’t lend well the globe design. You should check out the night shot I did of an A380 in new UA colors as well. A rumor like that might bumb Airbus’s stock up. (Again, NOT MY INTENTION)

edit: bump

Felix Unger II

To me it’s a great representation of,unfortunately-hopefully not,the real thing.It’s the “NEW” livery that sucks! Not the picture!! Great job Bjork! Thanks. I’d like to see the current UA livery,blue/white, with CO globe on the tail. Change out the tulip with the globe.OH, And definitely NO battleship gray!!

By the way, I can tell this is the unfinished picture I shared with some friends at Continental. In my final version I had corrected mistakes like the tail paint bleeding over the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer.
Thanks to everyone who liked the quality (if not the livery itself). Personally, I think CO’s colors are clean and nice and I also like UA’s current blue as well. All CEO’s have ego, but I don’t think this has anything to do with his. If they had of kept UA’s current livery it would have signaled to everyone, consumer and employee alike, that this was business as usual…just another takeover like any other. Changing it sends a very powerful and unmistakable message that this United is ‘new’. A supremely confident and aggresively competitive airline as born out by it’s many recent route announcements, including immediately countering AA’s LAX – PVG (Shanghai) expansion. They are not about to let AA dilute their Shanghai business traffic unchallenged, which until now was routed thru SFO. Like it or not, this IS a NEW UNITED and it is coming out swinging. And sorry Dave. I always appreciate your insight.

I’m not a fan of the compromised image, and would have liked to have seen an altogether new scheme, however, the more I stared at this picture the more it grew on me.

Thanks M Bjork, nice impression.


C’mon guys, this livery looks old and tired. I think United current color scheme is a illion times better. The CO livery looks like something from the 1980’s. How can two companies not afford a graphic artist who can deliver something spectacular and agreeable?

Felix Unger II

The truth….If ya were pro CO before the merge you probably LIKE the 20 year old “NEW” UA livery pictured here. Ironic….IF CO had not turned down 1ST merge down when Houston based Bush was Pres. the NEW airline would be called Continental & be BASED in Houston. Not in Chicago…NOW Pres.Obama’s home town. DOH!!! & DUH!!!!

Ho hum…uninspired yet expedient decision to plow the merged carrier along. Something tells me this merger will be clumsy and poorly unified and branded. Just look at the miss match mess of (liveries) UA aircraft sitting on the ramp today. As a designer I have always felt the globe should have been reversed on the tail – with the No Pole flying forward with the direction of flight. But, since we’re not the decision makers – let the public respond!

It’s one thing to have thoughts, likes, dislikes about the paint scheme it’s quite another to disparage the Continental people and the service (our only reason to be in business). Those leaving negative comments must have short memories when 20 years ago Continentals service left much to be desired. A CEO named Gordon Bethune came along and gave the airline to the employees who took it from “Worst to First” where it remains today. The airline continues to win “First” awards all over the world. The New United marketing people know that the current Livery is connected to and reflects that winning attitude and service. It is critical to the success of the New United that the Continental service level becomes the norm everywhere the New United flies. If any of you are not onboard with that and the changes that are coming, now would be a good time to look for another place to work.


May I humbly suggest this rough suggestion for an appropriate Merger name, color scheme and logo.

Name: Unitinental



Jonathan Anderson

Well I sure am glad to see I am not the only airplane nerd that checks this daily. I just wish I knew more things like, how many windows in zone 1. What type of engine based on casing…

Joe Becker

Great job on the Photoshopping but the aircraft used for this photo has GE engines, United uses only P&W’s.

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as long as everyone gets their $39 fare, who cares what the tail looks like…right?

CAL was indeed the stronger carrier. Better fleet, better technology, better looking FAs (that didn’t pose for the tail of Alaska…or Frontier), and they did it without liquidating pensions and laying off nearly 18% of their pilots.

UAL survives on legacy status, not performance. You get better service and smiles from the post-office.

The livery says it all. Cheaper to paint united on the side than grind down that shit-grey-faded-oil-streaked mess of a fleet they maintained.

dollars. just dollars.

Glen’s entire goal for the last decade was to dump the store. At least Jeff wants the appearance of making it work before he checks out a billionaire.

as for whoever counted zones and windows? it’s a friggin photoshop. who cares. it’s going to be all coach-class, code-shared with skywest, and seat-belts for sale.

Good photoshop. Terrible livery and logo. Save the Tulip!

All logos, Airlines, and Aviators Found at Lost Aviators. Love the old Friendship Livery of United. It has been picked by the employees and will be honored and remembered on a New United retro Jet. The best of both companies will live on…

mr.John doe

That photo breaks my hart

i cant believe how human can behave like this, ok, so 2 airlines are coming together,we dont like it but hey, its life all who dont like it can just leave, life is a choice here, i couldnt give a crap as to how the airplanes will look and what logo should stay or go,,all i want is my paycheck on payday.


Identity Crisis. Period.

Just relax folks. This is merely interim branding to satisfy the “merger of equals” philosophy. Wait for something spectacular coming ’round the bend in the near future.


It’s pretty obvious that the tulip is far more popular and reknowned then the weak Continental globe…I believe United is making a huge mistake…Hopefully, this is just a temporary scheme and Smisnek gets his ego out of his ‘globe’ and creates a livery where all sides will be satisfied. The tulip is iconic and for years represented the great airline of United. The globe is Continental’s pure a simple, how can anybody think otherwise..Can one imagine the CO globe logo on top of the Chicago United Center? Uuuuuuuuuuurrrrggggh!

Art VanDelay

United should be happy the big banks and the Obama adminstration crammed this merger down CAL’s throat. Continetal always planned to just wait until UAL went belly up (about 18 more months at the rate they were going) and then just buy the pieces that made sense. Now a truly winning team has got a giant sh*t sandwich that everyone’s got to take a bite of…. United employees career expectation before the merger = ZERO,NULL,NADA,ZILCH.

Too bad for you the fact is United was financially stronger than CO at the time of the merger, and CO was the one who analysts were saying was not strong enough to survive in the long term.


Keep the UAL colors. Who merged with who?

But the globe is oriented backwards to the airflow. Logos shouldn’t be backwards to the flow/direction of the airplane.

United made have initiated the merger but the new company ended up with mostly Continental management and policies. So, I guess it all makes since.


Hint –

Continental took over United. Left HQ in Siockago to appease the Obummer administration’s anti-trust review and the United name to throw the old United folk a bone.

Continental is the survivor.

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