How Has Ryanair's Livery Evolved Over The Years?

how has ryanair's livery evolved over the years?

How Has Ryanair’s Livery Evolved Over The Years?

  • Ryanair’s livery started with a simple all-white design, gradually incorporating its iconic blue and gold colors.
  • The carrier’s early fleet mainly consisted of turboprops but introduced jet-powered commercial aircraft as it grew.
  • Today, Ryanair’s livery features a dark blue belly with a golden stripe, and the airline’s name and logo prominently displayed in several areas.

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has one of the most recognizable liveries in Europe, with its yellow and blue harp design spotted all over the continent. However, while this paint scheme has become a common sight, it hasn’t always looked like this. Let’s take a trip back in time to see how Ryanair’s livery has evolved.

Ryanair’s early fuselages were predominantly white

When the carrier commenced operations, its fleet looked rather different compared to the hundreds of twinjets it operates today. Indeed, in its early years, Ryanair was more reliant on turboprops, like the 15-seat Embraer EMB 110 ‘Bandeirante’ below. This featured a simple all-white design with a small tail logo.

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Ryanair’s early years also saw it fly two Hawker Siddeley HS 748 aircraft. While these had a similar livery to the initial Embraer, we can see below that the carrier’s name was moved above the window line. Additionally, the bottom of the fuselage had gold and blue stripes, which have become a critical part of its brand.

Ryanair’s other turboprop design back in the day was the Franco-Italian ATR 42. These aircraft had a livery reminiscent of its Embraer paint job, as they didn’t feature the Hawker Siddeley HS 748’s stripes. However, the carrier’s name was printed much larger, a feature that would stay consistent going forward.

New liveries for new jets

As Ryanair continued to grow, its fleet started to feature jet-powered commercial aircraft. The first of these was the BAC 1-11, as pictured below. The type had a similar livery to the airline’s ATR 42s, with the same all-white design with a small tail logo as Ryanair’s earlier planes, but with its name in larger letters.

In the mid-1990s, Ryanair began replacing its BAC 1-11s with Boeing 737s. It initially took on the 737-200 model, marking the start of a working relationship with the 737 family that remains strong today. As pictured below, these aircraft featured the largest print of the airline’s name yet. Additionally, the carrier’s famous harp logo was present on the fuselage and the tail, which was now painted dark blue.

Later on, these aircraft also featured a newer livery that closely resembles today’s paint scheme. Most notable in its similarity is the design’s dark blue belly with a golden stripe on top, as you can see in the picture below.

This livery was also seen on Ryanair’s larger Boeing 737-800s, which later became the backbone of its fleet. This remains the case today, although now, these aircraft wear a slightly different but instantly recognizable livery.

Today’s state of affairs

The Ryanair livery retains the dark blue belly with a golden stripe on top, but this pattern is contoured more subtly in a manner that flows with the shape of the aircraft’s fuselage. The giant golden harp remains present on the dark blue tail, with the airline’s name printed in large characters that dominate the front half of the jet.

Interestingly, the engines are also painted in dark blue and gold on the underside, with Ryanair also using the aircraft’s winglets as another opportunity to print its name on the plane. The carrier has also had various special liveries over the years as part of advertising campaigns, which you can read about in more detail here.

What do you make of Ryanair’s livery evolution? Have you ever flown with the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

  • Ryanair

    IATA/ICAO Code: FR/RYR Airline Type: Low-Cost Carrier Hub(s): Dublin Airport, London Stansted Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport Year Founded: 1985 Airline Group: Ryanair Group CEO: Eddie Wilson Country: Ireland

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