This article was first published on AirlineGeeks on September 21, 2023
America’s most blue airline has a history of giving its aircraft creative names and adorning them in a series of different tail designs and special liveries. Each aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet features a clever name that often features some sort of pun or wordplay. The airline’s aircraft also feature a lineup of blue-themed tail designs, giving the fleet a diverse yet cohesive look.
From Bluebird to A Defining MoMint
JetBlue began service on February 11, 2000 with flights between their new home base at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and its first two destinations: Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Upstate New York and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
A few months earlier, the newly-formed brainchild of airline entrepreneur David Neeleman had received its first aircraft, an Airbus A320-200 registered as N503JB. The airline named the aircraft “Bluebird,” presumably as a nod to the airline’s chosen theme color and the many flights that the aircraft would undertake.
Since then, each of JetBlue’s planes has received a unique name. Often involving a pun or play on words, most of these are themed around the word “blue.” Names include “Big Blue Bus,” “Blue La La” and “Blue Jersey.” Other names are longer, such as “May The Force With Blue” and “Objects In Mirror Are Bluer Than They Appear.”
Aircraft that have the airline’s business class – known as Mint – have names featured around that product’s name. Examples include “Mint for Each Other” and “A Mint Summer Night’s Dream.” JetBlue’s first aircraft in its new livery is called “A Defining MoMint.”
Some names deviate from the color-based naming scheme. For example, the airline has a few aircraft named after significant individuals, including founder David Neeleman, former JetBlue board member Frank Sica, and Rob Dewar, the head of the team responsible for the development and delivery of the Airbus A220.
Other creative names include one that has “JetBlue Loves You” drawn out in American Sign Language and “How’s My Flying? Call 1-800-JetBlue.” The airline also had a special livery dedicated to the launch of its inflight WiFi – known as “Fly-Fi” – which had a name involving the word “blue” spelled out in binary code, but that A320 has since been repainted and renamed as “My Other Ride is a JetBlue A220.”
JetBlue holds contests for its employees to name new aircraft. Employees who submit names that get selected win some sort of prize. In the past, winners have received things like a model aircraft of the plane that they named and even the opportunity to fly on the delivery flight of the aircraft.
Balloons, Blue Monster & Blueprint
The airline’s creative juices go beyond aircraft naming. JetBlue has a series of tail designs across its fleet. Each design has its own name as well. The “Balloons” design features stacked circles in five different shades of blue, for example, while the “Highrise” design has tall rectangles in a wavy pattern.
On older aircraft, the different tail schemes are spread across the fleet on a somewhat random basis. For example, the “Barcode,” “Blueberries” and “Tartan” tail fin designs can be found on JetBlue’s Airbus A320s and Embraer E190s and both of those types of aircraft have multiple other tail designs as well. In recent years, the airline has been moving towards a more structured approach with its tail fins. For example, all of JetBlue’s A220s have the “Hops” tail design and all Airbus A321-200s with Mint have the “Prisim” tail design.
JetBlue also has a series of special liveries. A few of them pay tribute to sports teams in the airline’s focus city in Boston. These include “Blue Monster,” a Boston Red Sox livery named after the Green Monster left field wall at Fenway Park in Boston, as well as “Lucky Blue,” celebrating the airline’s status as the official airline of the Boston Celtics.
The airline also has special liveries dedicated to veterans, the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department. There is also an Embraer E190 named “Blueprint” and has a livery showing various items inside the aircraft. Other special liveries include “I <3 Blue York,” a tribute to the airline’s hometown and a fictional 1960s retrojet livery.
In June of this year, JetBlue announced a new livery that will be featured on all Mint aircraft. The airline appears to be streamlining its tail fin and livery approach with the new livery and its standardized painting practices in recent years. However, it has also stated that refreshed versions of its existing patterns will be unveiled later in the fall. With these developments, JetBlue appears to be setting itself up for keeping a diverse lineup of aircraft paint jobs in the skies for years to come.