The rumors were founded, Etihad has unveiled a new livery.
I absolutely love the tail. It's modern, it's confident, it makes you ask questions and reflect. A stellar job by Landor Associates, the brand consulting firm.
The new design uses a colour palette which reflects the varying hues of the landscape of the UAE, from the darker sands of the Liwa desert to the lighter colours seen in the Northern Emirates.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Etihad is the actual flag carrier of the UAE, not Emirates as many believe. The confusion is not only due to Emirates' emerging prominence around the world, but also for its use of the country's flag colors on its aircrafts' tails—something usually associated with national carriers, think American for instance.
Just look at this quick comparison I created for you:
The new design is strikingly differentiated, breaking from tradition:
In the words of the CEO:
The striking new livery also continues our commitment to breaking from convention and doing things differently
The UAE flag is not completely gone, it appears near the cockpit. The national emblem, featured on the old tail, is now featured next to the Etihad name along the fuselage (the brand name as well as its arabic counterpart seem to be pushed forwards to make room for it).
The unveiling happened during a live broadcast of the reveal of its first A380 in Hamburg, Germany.
We'll have another chance to see the new livery during Etihad's 787 unveiling tomorrow (Saturday 27,) live from Everett in the US. The entire existing fleet shall be repainted within the next three years.
Allow me to repeat it once more, I really enjoy that tail design. Might become a true favorite of mine. Congratulations Etihad!