SkyTeam carrier Delta Air Lines is to mark its exit from bankruptcy protection today by formally unveiling a new livery, initially displayed on a Boeing 757-200, at its Atlanta base.

The new livery features an all-white fuselage which will replace the bare-metal underside of the current schemes. It will also display the airline’s familiar ‘delta’ arrowhead logo in dark red, angled against a blue background, on the vertical fin.

Delta will retain its three-word ‘Delta Air Lines’ name, which will also be reflected in its stock market symbol when the carrier re-lists in a few days’ time.
It indicates that all the Delta Connection carriers as well as the mainline fleet, a total of some 880 aircraft, will carry the new design and that it plans to have all the painting completed within four years.


Delta marketing chief Tim Mapes says the carrier – which is emerging from Chapter 11 protection after 19 months – is not disclosing the total investment it is committing to the redesign.

But he states that the carrier wants to use a new scheme to emphasise the changes it has undertaken, adding: “An enormous effort has gone into fundamentally fixing the airline. This is really the icing on the cake.”

While Mapes admits that the metallic scheme copes more easily with the general wear associated with surface debris thrown up during take-off and landing rolls, he says the new livery will appear “vibrant” and “dynamic” while retaining elements of Delta’s 78-year heritage.

But a spokesman for Delta adds that the fully-painted fuselage will also assist with the transition to aircraft such as the Boeing 787, the composite fuselage of which, he says, would not adapt easily to the metallic scheme. The new livery also requires fewer colours than the current complex ‘rippling flag’ design.

Several Delta aircraft still carry an old simplified livery featuring a triangle and the carrier’s name on the fin, while a number of Boeing 757s are still operating in the colours of Delta’s defunct low-fare division Song.