JetBlue Airways on November 11, 2016 officially introduced its newest special livery aircraft, “What’s Old Is Blue Again.”
The JetBlue RetroJet (N763JB), which rolled out of paint shop on November 7, 2016, boasts a one-of-a-kind paint scheme designed to celebrate the iconic jet age of air travel and to highlight JetBlue’s innovative style.
To create the look, JetBlue dug into an archive of popular logos and notable companies from the mid-1960s to essentially reverse-engineer the JetBlue brand and envision what the customer-friendly carrier of today might have looked like some five decades ago.
The aircraft design features bold JetBlue orange and blue “speed stripes” down the length of the Airbus A320, a popular characteristic of 1960s aircraft paint schemes. Above the window line “JetBlue Airways” is printed in a font consistent with a typeface widely used in the time period. And because today JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline® serving nearly 100 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, the words “New York International” accompany the airline’s name. But perhaps most notable is the aircraft tail. Absent is a simple airline logo or icon. Instead, JetBlue’s RetroJet tail features three colors and a lively 1960s jazz-inspired font that would have stood out among other airlines of the time. It’s a jet age take on JetBlue’s hallmark tails of today.
For inspiration, JetBlue designers spent several days at New York’s Lubalin Archive at the Cooper Union poring through original advertisements, graphics, images and fonts from the 1960s. The team looked to leading brands for guidance on common themes and design elements that were widely used and associated with 1960s style.
Today’s RetroJet Route
JetBlue is officially introducing the RetroJet on this season’s first roundtrip between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). The Palm Springs route was selected because of the desert destination’s mid-century modern architecture and style. Greater Palm Springs is a popular destination known for blending its nostalgic past as a playground for Hollywood with hip new development attracting a new generation of trendy travelers.
1960s Celebration and Fashion Show
JetBlue is celebrating the introduction of the RetroJet livery with a gate-side fashion show at the airline’s home at JFK Terminal 5 (T5), featuring JetBlue crewmembers wearing specially designed retro uniforms that feature custom-created hats, scarves, ties and pins.
The JetBlue crewmembers will be joined on the T5 runway by men and women modeling the latest looks from fashion designer Trina Turk and Mr Turk, genuine California locals inspired by the Golden State’s multicultural mix, creativity, craftsmanship, architecture, and landscape. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the brand has eleven signature boutiques across the country, including stores in Palm Springs and New York.
To round out the unique RetroJet fashion experience – and in a historic nod to JetBlue’s home at T5 – the airline will welcome to the runway TWA Clipped Wings. The group became a non-profit in 1965 and today, is made up of former TWA flight attendants. At today’s celebration they will model original uniforms from various eras of air travel at TWA. The original TWA Flight Center’s Saarinen building, completed in 1962, sits adjacent to JetBlue’s T5 at JFK and was the original Terminal 5 at the airport.
JetBlue customers traveling on the first flights between New York and Palm Springs will receive a 1960s-inspired amenity kit with playing cards, a luggage tag, vintage-style post cards highlighting the airline’s focus cities and a commemorative pin matching the ones worn by the onboard crew members.
Photo: JetBlue Airways. Airbus A320-232 N763JB (msn 3707) has been flying around the system since it was rolled out.