We’re starting a new section on The Desi Design called Tuesday Top Ten in which we profile and celebrate happenings and things related to design, branding and advertising from Pakistan and beyond.

To kick things off, we have the very first Tuesday Top Ten featuring the World’s Best Airline Livery Designs. Due to the sheer scale of it, aircraft liveries are one of the most exciting applications of visual design and give design aficionados like us the kicks. Here we present our pick of the ten best aircraft liveries flying the skies. We are only considering liveries in service right now, not old classics like this one.

Here we go.

Cathay Pacific

cathay pacific livery

The suave, elegant color palette and clean design elements are perfectly in line with Cathay Pacific’s image of a quality flyer.

Caribbean Airlines

caribbean airlines

What better way to invoke the feel of a sunny vacation on the idyllic Caribbean beaches than this burst of color and natural elements. Yes, it is less than polished but that is perfect for an airline that serves fun-seeking travelers.


qantas livery

Qantas’ livery smartly makes use of its well known kangaroo mark in a very elegantly simple design that is striking and recognizable from afar.

Air Seychelles

Air seychelles livery

Seychelles, the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, is a popular tourist destination. Fittingly, Air Seychelles uses a vibrant array of colors and natural illustrations that makes one want to hop onto the plane and go for a vacation already.

Korean Air

korean air livery

Korean’s unique choice of color is refreshing and calming – two adjectives that air travellers will undoubtedly welcome with open arms.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways International Boeing 777-2D7ER "Phichit"

The royal color palette on Thai’s planes promises a special treatment and the stripe graphic device makes it look like the plane is wrapped in ribbons, like a present.



Less is more. In true Scandinavian style, Finnair’s planes are minimally and practically decorated, sporting nothing but the supersized logo which is also a very well constructed wordmark. The starkness of the livery sets Finnair apart, with class.

American Airlines


American’s shiny, polished, unpainted planes are quite unlike any other airline’s. The abstract rendition of the American flag on the tail is also a striking and recognizable visual asset for American.

Air New Zealand

air new zealand livery

Air New Zealand’s planes prove that you can create beautiful design without using any colors. The black and white is unexpected, beautiful and very confident.

Fiji Airways

fiji airways

A small airline that many have surely not even heard of, Fiji nevertheless impresses with the flying beauties that are its planes. And how. A graceful use of ethnic patterns and unique, warm colors sets this livery apart as one of the sky’s very best.