Air Niugini is a national airline of Papua New Guinea. It’s one of the dominant airline companies in the region, with flights arranged all over East Asia, Oceania and the Pacific. That being said, Air Niugini isn’t very secure financially. It’s been close to bankruptcy several times over – primarily because of the rough terrain of Papua.
The airline was established in the year 1973, a few years prior to Papuan independence. Niugini literally means ‘New Guinea’, so it was from the start considered a national airline company. The government always had a stake in its finances, and Air Niugini is generally crucial for the company’s development.
The first logo of Air Niugini wasn’t too different from all the other airline logotypes across the world: it was the company name written in a rather plain black type, with the letters slightly tilted to the right. Accompanying it was a red silhouette of a bird. The bird is a national symbol of the country – a Raggiana bird-of-paradise.
The logo changed in 1990. The coloring for the text changed to pinkish red, while the letters design switched from complete uppercase to a normal writing style. Simultaneously, the bird received more detail and nuance. Now you could actually see the features and distinguish it.
The bird is used by the airline as an emblem. Like many in the field, they put it on the tail – on the vertical stabilizer in the back. Because they put a lot of effort into designing it and made it distinct, it’s immediately recognizable. The colors aren’t just red this time – it’s a whole variety of purple, green, yellow and others.