With around 100 different airlines flying in and out of Singapore Changi Airport, it’s tricky for most travellers to name them by their tailfins. Once in a while, you might also get a rare treat – aircraft painted with special liveries on the plane body, as part of special partnerships, or to commemorate special events. We round up 16 of these special designs and the stories behind them.
If you’re also interested in tracking these planes, we’ve also included their registration numbers – you can search these numbers on websites such as Flightradar24 and FlightAware for their latest locations.
What is a livery?
A livery is like an aeroplane's unique fashion statement – a colourful splash of designs, logos, and symbols that tell a tale on the aircraft's exterior. This includes its vertical stabiliser, which is otherwise known as the tailfin. It's more than just a paint job. It's a high-flying embodiment of an airline's brand and, often, its partnerships. Each livery is a meticulously designed art piece, mirroring not just the airline's identity and heritage, but also its alliances and collaborations. Bold or understated, retro or futuristic, liveries spark our imagination, transforming the runway into a vibrant gallery and sparks the spirit of travel. So next time you spot an aircraft, remember, you're beholding a story painted on wings!
If you’re looking for free things to do at Changi Airport, nobody can deny that plane watching is one of the activities loved by both adults and children. Why not turn your experience into a unique one and feast your eyes on some of the most eye-catching aircraft liveries and tailfins at Changi Airport?
1. Scoot’s Pokémon Plane (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner)
As part of Scoot’s 10-year anniversary celebrations in 2022, Scoot collaborated with The Pokémon Company to launch this adorable and colourful Pokémon livery plane. On this aircraft, you can spot many popular Pokémon characters, such as Pikachu, Pichu, Psyduck and Lapras. If you’re a Pokémon fan, this is one flight you got to experience for yourself.
As an added bonus, this flight comes with Pokémon themed in-flight entertainment and experiences – such as Pikachu-themed cups, and meals served in original Pokémon packaging.
Route: Flies between Singapore and various cities. Find all upcoming flights listed here.
2. All Nippon Airways’ Pikachu Jet NH Plane (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner)
Pokémon fans are in luck as there is another Pokémon-themed plane from All Nippon Airways (or ANA) currently flying in and out of Changi Airport! While their blue tailfins are easily recognisable, you'll love the splash of colours that this livery comes with.
Named the "Pikachu Jet NH", the plane features the iconic Pikachu, together with other flying Pokémon like Charizard, Latias, Latios and Vivillon. The plane’s interior is also specially decked out in Pokémon designs. According to ANA, the flights may be in service until 28 October 2023, so catch the aircraft when you can.
Route: Flies between Singapore and Tokyo, Japan.
3. Finnair’s Moomin Planes (Airbus A350-900)
Finnair commissioned two special A350 aircraft in this whimsical Moomin livery, designed to celebrate the airline’s 100th anniversary. These planes feature the beloved Finnish characters Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden. The Moomins are white, roundish trolls, and are characters from books originally published in Finland.
This is not the first time the Moomins have appeared on Finnair’s aircraft, as they first appeared back in the 1990s.
According to Finnair, these two special A350s will be flying their long-haul routes (yes, including Singapore!) all through 2023.
Registration: OH-LWP and OH-LWO
Route: Flies between Singapore and Helsinki, Finland
4. EVA Air’s Sanrio Plane (Boeing –777-300ER)
Sanrio fans, this one’s for you! EVA Air partnered with Sanrio and launched five different Sanrio-themed aircraft liveries. This is the “Shining Star” aircraft livery, which features Hello Kitty (near the tailfin) and other Sanrio characters such as Little Twin Stars Kiki and Lala. If you ever visited Universal Studio Japan’s Hello Kitty Design Studio, this will bring back memories.
Other plane designs include “Celebration of Flight” with the characters in a party-like festive theme, “BAD BADTZ-MARU Travel Fun” featuring Bad Badtz Maru (a male penguin with spiky hair), “Joyful Dream” featuring Pom Pom Purin, and “Friendship Bows” which uses Hello Kitty’s red bow as a theme, signifying friendship.
According to EVA Air, there are also themed amenities onboard these special aircraft. We're guessing special flight entertainment screens, themed cabin seats and more!
Route: Flies between Singapore and Taipei, Taiwan
5. Turkish Airlines’ “Tek Yürek” (One Heart) Plane (Airbus A350-900)
Turkish Airlines named their 400th aircraft “Tek Yürek” (One Heart), to show their solidarity with the Turkish people after the massive earthquake that struck the country in February 2023.
This aircraft made her maiden flight on 4 March 2023 – this was a special flight for families that were affected by the earthquake.
Route: Flies between Singapore and Istanbul, Türkiye
6. Korean Air’s Blackpink Plane (Boeing 777-300ER)
“Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane!” Fans of the South Korean girl band Blackpink will recognise this iconic line from one of their songs, and it’s definitely the right soundtrack to go with Korean Air’s Blackpink-themed aircraft, which features the four band members on its livery.
This passenger plane was unveiled in May 2023, in support of South Korea's bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan.
Black, pink in our area!
Route: Flies between Singapore and Seoul, South Korea
7. Lufthansa’s Retro Livery Plane (Boeing B747-8)
This one’s for those who love classics.
Back in 2015, Lufthansa painted this aircraft in its retro livery to celebrate the airline’s 60th Anniversary. The retro look is a throwback to its livery design back in the 1970s, when Lufthansa first started flying the B-747s. It has a classic black nose, a blue stripe across its body, and sports its former blue-and-yellow crane tailfin.
Lufthansa’s current tailfin, introduced in 2018, no longer features yellow in their background. It is now a blue-only tailfin design, while retaining its iconic crane logo. Catch their current livery at Changi Airport, an iconic sight any frequent passenger can attest to.
Route: Flies between Singapore and Frankfurt, Germany
8. AirAsia’s General Electric Livery Plane (Airbus A320-200)
This very special AirAsia plane features General Electric (GE) on its tailfin. Back in 2016, AirAsia unveiled this livery design as a sign of GE and AirAsia group’s long-standing relationship.
According to AirAsia, when its owners first acquired AirAsia, they also inherited a debt of RM40 million. Back then, GE’s financing arm, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), refinanced the debt on AirAsia’s engines and planes.
Route: Flies between Singapore and Malaysia (various cities)
9. Gulf Air’s 70th Anniversary / Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix Livery Plane (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner)
This Gulf Air aircraft, delivered in 2018, marks a double celebration – its livery features Gulf Air’s 70th Anniversary logo, as well as the logo of Bahrain’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Route: Flies between Singapore and Bahrain, then onwards to Bangkok, Thailand
Other rare tailfins to spot at Changi
Aircalin’s tailfin features the bright red hibiscus flower.
Since July, the airline operates five weekly services between Singapore and Nouméa, the capital of the French Pacific Territory of New Caledonia.
11. Air Macau
Air Macau’s tailfin features a dove, while also featuring the shape of a lotus flower. From July, the airline operates daily services between Singapore and Macau.
12. Batik Air
Batik Air’s tailfin is aptly designed in a batik-inspired design. Batik is an Indonesian dyeing technique, which uses wax to cover parts of the fabric that should not be dyed. The airline operates between Singapore and multiple Indonesian cities such as Bali, Medan, Surabaya, Yogyakarta and more.
Drukair’s tailfin features Bhutan’s national flag. In yellow and orange, the design features a dragon. 'Druk' is also the name of the Bhutanese thunder dragon. The airline operates between Singapore and Paro, Bhutan via Guwahati, India twice a week, and onwards to Dili, Timor Leste.
14. Ethiopian Airlines
The tailfin for Ethiopian Airlines features the green, yellow, and red tricolour from the Ethiopian national flag. The airline operates between Singapore and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and onwards to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia four times weekly.
The dark blue tailfin of Saudia is also the Emblem of Saudi Arabia and features two crossed swords with a palm tree. The airline flies thrice weekly between Singapore and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
16. Shenzhen Airlines
The bright red tailfin of Shenzhen Airlines features a roc, a mythical bird in Chinese mythology. The airline operates daily flights between Singapore and Shenzhen, China.
Let the skies tell a story
With so many different airlines flying in and out of Changi Airport, it’s always fun to see how many tailfins you can name and spot! Get yourself a sturdy DSLR so you can zoom in for that perfect click.
While you’re at it, why not also try to see if you can name the different types of aircraft? For more aviation fun facts, read our article on types of different aircraft and where to spot them from in Changi Airport.
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