Today I pay my respects to a little-known (now defunct) Ukrainian airline by honoring their wild livery and individualism. Donbassaero’s bold, in-your-face paint scheme oddly reminds me of something you might see on a 1970s muscle car like the Oldsmobile 442.
This livery and airline is extra special. You see, while the rest of the world’s airlines were trending towards boring, mostly white (read: cheap) liveries referred to as “Eurowhite,” Donbassaero did the opposite.
Yes, Donbassaero actually went from a plain-jane Eurowhite livery to this bold, orange funky paint scheme.
Let’s be honest; bucking the trend of Eurowhite adoption and going with this crazy livery certainly made Donbassaero unique. Unfortunately, it didn’t save them.
According to their website, which is eerily still up and running, Donebassaero was established in 1993 and operated an all-Airbus fleet. The airline filed for bankruptcy and ceased operation on January 14, 2013.
This particular bird, an A320 originally registered as UR-DAB with the airline, got its start in 1991 with Mexicana. It hopped around the world with a dozen carriers before ultimately finding its way to Jet Midwest in Kansas City, MO, where its deconstruction began.
The entire front section of the fuselage was sliced off and will be re-purposed for a flight simulator. What’s left will be parted out to breathe new life into other planes, or simply recycled.
If this livery looks familiar, it’s because other versions were shared with Donbassaero’s sister carriers (which have also come under difficult financial times): Aerosvit and Dniproavia.
It is always a bit sad to see an airliner scrapped, but kind of neat thinking that parts of UR-DAB will still be flying around the world for many years to come.