3 Links I Love: Lufthansa’s Acceptable New Livery, JetBlue’s West Coast Strategy Turns Angry, A Brief Book Report

JetBlue, Links I Love, Lufthansa

This week’s featured link:
Heritage meets the future. Lufthansa presents a new brand design.Lufthansa Group Newsroom
The new Lufthansa livery is out and it’s… well, it’s fine. Basically, the tail just changed to a dark blue with the crane logo now in white. That’s it. There are other branding elements that will update as well, but it’s hardly the massive change that they seem to be pitching. Here’s a video showing the repainting.


I’ve seen people up in arms about how terrible it is, but it’s really not. It just seems somewhat unnecessary. I can only wonder if this is the beginning of a common-branding scheme for the whole group. Will SWISS now have a red tail with the cross in white just like this? Maybe Austrian could do a light blue tail with the arrow. That might look sharp if they all lined up that way.

Two for the road:
JetBlue Promises Fight Against Fines For Late Long Beach FlightsLong Beach Grunion Gazette
Don’t look now, but JetBlue’s latest West Coast strategy is… anger. After years of receiving what it will argue is unfair treatment in Long Beach, the bear is waking up. And it’s not happy. The city is looking to tweak the noise ordinance, and JetBlue thinks that this unfairly targets the airline. While JetBlue used to quietly pay its noise violation fines, it sounds like that’s not the case anymore. Now it’s challenging the fines that are levied due to weather in other cities, and this may end up in court. JetBlue has been pushed too far, it seems, and that could very well mean drama in Long Beach for some time.

Book Worth Reading: Up, Up and Astraywritten by Jim Spaeth
I don’t do book reviews here on the blog, but I’m going to start posting links here when I read something I think you might like. First up is “Up, Up and Astray,” Jim Spaeth’s memoir of his time working at TWA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. [Note: Jim sent me a copy for free.] While it starts slow with Jim’s early life, it picks up the pace nicely once he signs on with TWA. Jim really settles into his element when he becomes a Director of Customer Service (an on-aircraft position) and moves to Los Angeles. There are the requisite stories of booze, women, and travel to far flung places as you’d hope, but there’s more than that. This isn’t just a rosy picture of why things were so much better; it’s an honest account of life through one man’s eyes. This isn’t a literary masterpiece nor is it trying to be. It’s just a welcome look back that’s a light and enjoyable read.

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21 comments on “3 Links I Love: Lufthansa’s Acceptable New Livery, JetBlue’s West Coast Strategy Turns Angry, A Brief Book Report

  1. But… but… how can you possibly pass over all of today’s headlines about flushing the emotional support hamster down the toilet??

    1. grichard – Don’t worry, I’ll have special two-post dedicated coverage on the incident and what it all means for the industry next week. (Oh wait, no I won’t. ;) )

  2. The new Lufthansa livery is a masterpiece. Truly modern, cutting edge, and totally original. A breathtaking instant classic for all time. One of the most genius and inspiring works of branding and imaging ever done.

    1. I agree with Cranky-it’s just so unnecessary. All we get is a bunch of corporate-speak for “change for the sake of change.”

      I don’t hate it, but I don’t see the point.

  3. What is it with Long beach and JetBlue and their never ending vitriol? Is it an East Coast/West Coast rivalry thing? If the airport is that much of a hassle, then why doesn’t the city just close the damn thing down already like Shitcago did with Meigs and Stabba Monica did with their own airport. With Boeing/MDD now long gone, the airport really doesn’t serve a whole lot of purpose given how much real estate it takes up. Think of how much more money they can make with far less hassle if the entire thing went Stapleton Denver…….

    This isn’t about “noise”. There’s definitely some other underlying political, superficial reason for it all. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    1. A local government can’t just shut down a commercial airport without going through an extensive process with the FAA. Chicago closed Meigs illegally and Daley should have gone to Club Fed for it. It’s much easier to close a GA field.

      The problem is that LAX’s terminals are pretty much full, Orange County has its own legal quirks, Burbank is too small for a major expansion, and Ontario has the insurmountable disadvantage of being in Ontario. If there was gate space available at LAX immediately, JetBlue would probably just give up on LGB or, at most, downgrade it to a very minor station. But there isn’t. So JetBlue either has to work with (or fight) Long Beach or make the Southland a minor spoke, and the market there is just too big to simpoy ignore.

      1. Why can’t JetBlue just be happy with New York-Florida?

        I get what you’re saying about the closure process; that wasn’t my question.

        My question is why Long Beach seems to have such an axe to grind with the airport in general and JetBlue in particular? I don’t think it’s *really* about jet noise; that just makes a plausible cover story when the REAL reason is God knows what. And that’s what I’d like to get CF’s take on.

        One would think that if the airport really was that much of a thorn in Long Beach’s side, they would start the closure process.

        1. Matt – Well, the airport is a huge economic generator, and shutting it down would have consequences. I also don’t think they’d be able to get approval to do that, so it’s really not worth arguing, though some people on the fringe do try to make that argument.

          It really is about noise. People like having the airport as long as they don’t have to be impacted in any way. It’s remarkably selfish, but, well, that’s how my neighbors work.

          JetBlue specifically is more in-depth. The neighbors blame JetBlue for everything, primarily because JetBlue is the largest violator of the noise ordinance with late evening arrivals and departures. They work themselves up into a tizzy about all kinds of weird conspiracy theories. The rest of the country must look at this and think it’s the stupidest thing they’ve ever seen since most areas would die to have a JetBlue hub. Things get even weirder. JetBlue doesn’t do well financially in Long Beach, so it always used the noise ordinance to its advantage. Airlines basically had to use their slots only half the time to keep them, so that’s what JetBlue did… until Southwest showed up. (If JetBlue doesn’t use them, others can temporarily use them until the slotholder wants them back, and JetBlue didn’t want Southwest using them.) So now the city is trying to update the rules, making penalties against violators stiffer as well as increasing slot usage requirements. JetBlue says it feels targeted by this, and now it’s preparing to fight. In the end, all this stupidity could have the effect of blowing up the noise ordinance entirely. That would cause the community to go into pure chaos, and I can’t imagine what a mess it would create. The funny thing is that it would be bad for JetBlue if that happened, because then Southwest could depress yields for JetBlue even further. So there are a lot of stupid things going on to defend air service that doesn’t even really seem worth flying today. Go figure.

        2. Because a national airline must have a breadth of network to be viable. New York and Florida can only grown so much. They have already optimized that part of the network, and west coast is too much to simply ignore.
          I think Long Beach needs to update its ridiculous and arcane noise ordinance which was written when the air cracking noise buckets of dc9/md88’s and 727, vintage 737 were the main aircraft there. A A320 is about 60-70% quieter. Long Beach residents love love love jetblue with what they do there. The bueurocrates in Long Beach need to be humbled and stop being pretending to be in the interests of the majority of the public.

    2. The city itself isn’t the one with problems, it is residents near the airport who feel emboldened after bullying their way to denying a customs facility. JetBlue has had a run of late arrivals that are almost all out of the airline’s control but the residents refuse to either believe or acknowledge that fact. The late arrivals coincide with the timeline of bad East of the Mississippi weather, but don’t tell that to them. Residents insist all bad weather after curfew arrivals have been given a pass and that the airline is purposely arriving late to force open the issue of the noise ordinance. The airline agree to higher fines once before and now the city after pressure from residents, is doing it again. JetBlue has finally had enough. The problem is that even rational residents aren’t thinking clearly about it. They suggest JetBlue doesn’t have enough spare planes to be able to wheel out at a moment’s notice when delays look like they will cause after curfew arrivals in Long Beach. How do you respond to that, especially when concurrently others are yelling that JetBlue is arriving late on purpose.

      1. @Don,
        There is no airport with curfew restrictions that takes into consideration the ATC/on-time situation in other parts of the world. LGB specifically says that its agreement with the airlines only factor in ATC delays for LGB.
        Airlines have to be able to swap aircraft/crews to mitigate delays in other parts of the country, cancel flights, or not operate so close to the curfew that delays don’t result in curfew violations.

        This really is not a LGB issue but the way nearly all curfews work not just in the US but in most parts of the world.

  4. Have to disagree a bit on the Lufthansa livery change – it’s pretty bad, mainly because of removing the yellow. The gold-ish yellow tied the livery to the German flag. If they’d kept that (or made it a darker gold), at least a stripe on the tail or on the crane, it’d just be a minor difference and would tie in well with your idea of a standardization program across the group. But this is just dark and dull for the sake of being dark and dull.

  5. First picture ive seen of the new scheme, first thought is it reminds me of UTA without the green doors….looks rather plain, dont see the yellow accent….love the fact they kept the the Crane….it symbolizes Lufthansa…..unlike American who destroyed their iconic livery and looks so generic, you dont know what airline it is….wherever you see Lufthansa with the new update, you will know what airline it is….the Crane tells you who it is without having to see the name….

  6. I’ve seen comments that the new livery would make it easier for Lufthansa Group to move aircraft among it’s various airlines, but I’m not so sure. I can see similarities between Lufthansa and Brussels, but Eurowings’ livery is currently rather different, and Swiss and Austrian both use red and white since that matches the colors of their flags, so it would be especially awkward to redo their liveries to use a blue base.

  7. I get that everyone has their own design aesthetic…. and that cars and furniture come in different colors to suit different tastes. BUT… of ALL the things that go into making an airline successful (schedule, pricing, performance, customer service, amenities, etc.)… and the vast opportunity all airlines have for improvement in all these areas, getting one’s panties in a wad over a shade of paint or a yellow swath seems kind of absurd. I fly inside the plane, not outside. I couldn’t care less what the color scheme is.

  8. Southwest Airlines adheres to the SNA restrictions like it’s the word of God. They cancel flights, they swap planes…and anyone who flies to SNA regularly understands. The problem is JetBlue doesn’t have the extensive network Southwest does. Southwest cancels an OAK-SNA flight because of a major delay…but they can offer those customer 3 other airport options to get to the LA basin. I agree that JetBlue should focus its attention on their east coast-west coast flights from LAX…where they probably make the real profits.

    1. Any clue where JetBlue could get those slots at LAX? Last I checked gate space is a pretty scarce commodity there. Southwest also doesn’t fly red eyes which greatly helps at SNA. Plus most of their flights touch nice, sunny weather destinations that don’t see too much in the way of delays.

      I think it’s selfish for a few residents to think that a flight should be cancelled just because they don’t want to hear a little bit of noise. People are on those airplanes because life happens. Funerals, job interviews, work, vacations, and all the other reasons people travel are represented on every flight. To say that a flight of 150 people should be cancelled because my ears can’t bear to hear 60 seconds worth of noise 5 minutes past a curfew is so incredibly selfish and self centered that I honestly can’t comprehend it at the moment.

  9. … the German airline livery is distinctly Beta and uninspired … a bureaucratic fudge sans colour – typically EU – which prescribed that the flash of yellow had to go … the pre-eminent look continues to belong to Speedbird – ultra confident and nicely linked to its graphics history …

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