People who travel tend to agree that for better or worse, most flights and experiences just blend into another, planes are the same and it’s just a way to get from place to place. Occasionally, you walk to the gate and find pilots carrying lightsabers, ready to board a Boeing 787 painted in Star Wars characters. There are some airline’s who’ve come out with some really nifty paint jobs for their planes that really spice things up and of course, here are some of the very best. Mind you, I didn’t say prettiest…

ANA “Pokemon”

a colorful airplane on the runway

You won’t have any trouble picking this plane out of a line up. ANA’s “Pokemon” livery is one of the most famously bright chunks of metal ever painted. It’s manic! 

Air New Zealand “Hobit”

a large airplane with images on it

If you like long movies, about long journeys, you’ll love taking the fourteen hour flight to New Zealand on this baby. They even have another one painted for Middle Earth! My personal favorite will always remain the All Blacks paint job though

Alaska Airlines “Disney Jet”

a plane flying in the sky

What’s more exciting than taking your kids to Disney World? Turning up to the gate to find their favorite Disney characters waving hello! What fun!

EVA Airlines “Hello Kitty” 

a plane with cartoon characters on it

This paint job does somewhat give me nightmares, but it’s a very nice touch. The coolest or further more terrifying part of this plane is that the interior follows the “Hello Kitty” theme. 

ANA “Star Wars”

a robot standing next to a jet

This paint job is awesome, they play Star Wars music on board and the pilots really, truly do carry lightsabers on board

American Airlines “Retro Series”

an airplane on the runway

In the US we have the “big three”, Delta, United and American. This is mostly because they all bought the cool old regional airlines. As a tribute to their imperialism, American pay tribute to old airlines like “Reno Air” by featuring their old liveries.

Etihad “Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”

a large red and white airplane on a runway

Few planes probably look more badass speeding down the runway at over 150mph than one with a checkered flag representing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Pole sitter!

Delta “Breast Cancer Relief”

a large white airplane on a runway

I like a fancy paint job, but I LOVE one with a cause. Delta has partnered with the Breast Cancer Relief Fund to promote awareness and raise money with this stand out pink livery. 

South African Airways “Olympic Pride”

a large airplane on a runway

I love the Olympics and can’t wait for the Rio games. Fortunately, if you want to get into the spirit early you can take a ride on South African’s special livery in support of their Olympic team. I hope they get to fly on it! 

British Airways “Red Nose Comic Relief”

a group of airplanes at an airport

Again, paint jobs are cool, doing them for charity, cooler. Though this one isn’t too tedious to paint, I love the red nose, representing Comic Relief, a great UK charity. I’m determined to fly one. 

a group of seats with a star wars character on them

If like mine, your life is so mundane that you seek out such planes, there are ways to track them down. Many of these great paint jobs are assigned to certain routes and have very fixed schedules. If you google the plane you’re interested in flying, look for its registration number. Something like N592DL or G-BVI. Once you find it, input it in the search on and you’ll see its history as well as future scheduled flights! Enjoy!

As Always, Get In Touch:

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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