Although it will likely be more than a year before Riyadh Air operates its first commercial flight, the government-owned airline in Saudi Arabia has already unveiled the livery of its second aircraft, which it describes as being in an “iconic iridescent shade.”
In June of last year, Riyadh Air debuted its inaugural livery on a borrowed Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first of up to 72 that the airline will receive. The entire fuselage and tail were covered in shades of blue, purple, and lavender, creating a striking and vibrant livery.
Even though the livery was striking, it begged the intriguing question of how an aircraft painted in such dark colors would fare in Saudi Arabia’s intense summer heat, where daytime highs of 43°C (109°F) are not unheard of.
Even though contemporary aircraft paints are lighter and more resilient to heat, a livery this colorful could still cause problems and raise operating expenses.
The answer appears to be yes with Riyadh Air’s second livery, which was made public on social media the day before the biennial Dubai Air Show begins on Monday. At the show, Riyadh Air is anticipated to make a major announcement regarding a multibillion-dollar order for single-aisle aircraft.
With one notable exception—the fuselage is now nearly white instead of dark blue, which will help reflect the heat during Saudi Arabia’s intense summer—the new livery isn’t all that different from the one that was unveiled in June.