When two airline companies merge, there’s always a question about what will happen to the most visible part of the both companies: corporate branding. If a profitable airline takes on a fiscally struggling airline, the former usually sticks to its own corporate branding, and merely takes on the assets of the latter. (For example, Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran earlier this week will likely not result in a different color scheme on Southwest’s fleet of 737s.) But what if you’ve got two equal players joining together?
There’s been a bit of a debate going on over at FlightBlogger as to the authenticity of this photo on Flickr— perhaps the first shot of the new livery from the United-Continental merger… or is it? Most of the comments lean toward the photo being fake, but with the official merger one day away, perhaps it’s a sneak-preview set up by the marketing team over at United? Or perhaps just an overeager airport employee who happened to stumble upon the hanger with his cameraphone.
Whether it’s fake or real, it’s pretty cool to see what happens to an airline’s iconic branding after such a merger. For fans of Northwest Airlines, their aircraft were all repainted with the Delta colors after their merger in 2008 as demonstrated in the video below:
And check out this handy infographic form the New York Times on what happens when flight paths converge on a corporate level.