Eurowhite is the name for a particular style of airline livery which you definitely know. It usually consists of an entirely white plane, with a company logo on the tail or a solid colour that wraps around under the fuselage.

Once common cheatlines are banished to the past and are only spotted today when airlines do a retro livery. Swishes, curves, swirls and two-tone paints are sadly all gone too, despite some of them being very beautiful. So, who is to blame for all this white?

Eurowhite Examples

We are living in an era of peak Eurowhite, as it seems like everyone is using it these days. There are good reasons for doing so. For starters, white paint reflects heat better, which is good for the environment. How? Less air conditioning is required both in the air and on the ground to keep the plane cool.

Having just one colour is also easier to paint, taking less man hours therefore saving money. Complicated colour schemes take a lot of time to do, meaning the aircraft is out of service and not making money, and that’s before the cost of the paint and labour.

Eurowhite Ground Zero

Once upon a time, there was a French airline called UTA (Union de Transports Aériens). This was the largest privately owned airline in France, coming about in 1963 thanks to a merger between UAT (Union Aéromaritime de Transport) and TAI (Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux). I see acronyms were in vogue back then, but I digress. Check out their scheme, introduced on delivery of the Douglas DC-10 in 1973.

While not technically all white as the very bottom is painted grey, it certainly is close enough, especially with that tail. The other contender is Air France, which went all white from 1976.

All of that being said, some people point to an almost entirely white plane from 1968 in the USA. Air West formed on 17 April 1968 with the merger of Pacific Air Lines, Bonanza Air Lines and West Coast Airlines. All white except for the very bottom, like UTA. The scheme was short lived, being replaced by banana yellow in 1971.

While some point to this as the beginning of Eurowhite, I think the clue is in the word. Air West has nothing whatsoever to do with the “Euro” part, so I think we can discount it, or can we?

Overall Thoughts

Purists will probably claim that Eurowhite started with Air France. The aircraft is painted completely white, with just the tail design and airline name.

My personal view is that UTA is the real genesis for this type of scheme. It is the first international carrier to move in that direction, if not technically first with all white. They are, I believe, first with the tail colour extending down the fuselage.

Whether you love it or hate it, Eurowhite is here to stay. What do you think of these types of liveries? Also, which of the three gets your vote as being first? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Christian Volpati on via Wikimedia Commons.
Qantas by Li Pang via Wikimedia Commons, Lufthansa via Lufthansa, and Aer Lingus via Aer Lingus.
UTA Douglas DC-10 via UTAFrenchAirlines on Facebook.
Air France Airbus A300 by Michel Gilliand on via Wikimedia Commons.
Air West Douglas DC-9 via Pinterest.