"The green heart-shaped shamrock becomes the hero ... we wanted the shamrock to be the hero:" Aer Lingus reveal their updated, refreshed look in North America for the first time. 

Passengers in John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 5 were treated to a different kind of flash mob photography on Friday, January 18, as the latest celebrity landed on North American tarmac for the first time. 

After a spectacular reveal in Dublin airport on Thursday, Aer Lingus' brand new livery was greeted into Gate 11 to much excitedment, marking the start of the next steps into a transatlantic and international takeover for Ireland's only four-star airline. 

Aer Lingus new livery coming into Gate 11 at JFK Terminal 5. Image: Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus new livery coming into Gate 11 at JFK Terminal 5. Image: Aer Lingus.

"Our aspiration is to be the best of what Ireland is today and to be the best of what Irish America is today," stated Bill Byrne, head of the airline's North American operations, at a reception held in JFK's Aer Lingus lounge in anticipation of the touchdown of their updated look. 

Read more: Aer Lingus unveils re-brand - part of North Atlantic leader strategy

"Our aspiration is to be the best of what Ireland is today and to be the best of what Irish America is today" - @AerLingus pic.twitter.com/5GJGUfMFeY

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) January 18, 2019

With the names of many remarkable Irish Americans and their outstanding achievements listed on the walls, the lounge welcomed guests to share in Aer Lingus' vision for how an Irish brand can work not only for the country's dedicated diaspora but for anyone looking to venture on a transatlantic adventure to Dublin and beyond. 

While the main changes to the Aer Lingus fleet had been revealed the previous day, Dara McMahon, the airline's Director of Marketing and Digital Experience, talked the crowd through the important elements of their new appearance (coming over 20 years after their previous brand change) and the expansion plans for North America. 

Awaiting our first glance at @AerLingus's new look. #AerLingus pic.twitter.com/JLxk5giswJ

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) January 18, 2019

The new logo retains but restyles the iconic shamrock, adding a tilt to symbolize dynamism and speed, with heart-shaped leaves reflecting the warmth and hospitality of the brand. After scouring for a new look for the shamrock, a shortlist of 50 was picked before the current design was deemed perfect. 

The body of the new look Aer Lingus aircraft will be white with a teal-colored tail and engines, bringing a sleek, contemporary feel to the design. The teal undercarriage means that Aer Lingus will be instantly recognizable to those on the ground.The color brand refresh is being rolled out immediately across all brand platforms, with a new website design and new app design. It will be visible across all guest touchpoints, from check-in to boarding gate and on to the aircraft.

Bill Byrne, head of the airline's North American operations, and Dara McMahon, the airline's Director of Marketing and Digital Experience. Image: Aer Lingus.

Bill Byrne, head of the airline's North American operations, and Dara McMahon, the airline's Director of Marketing and Digital Experience. Image: Aer Lingus.

"We absolutely had to retain green ... but needed to modernize the green," McMahon stated.

"The darker green gives strength."

Read more: Aer Lingus celebrates 2 million transatlantic bookings for 2018

"We absolutely had to retain green ... but needed to modernize the green ... the darker green gives strength ... the green heart-shaped shamrock becomes the hero ... we wanted the shamrock to be the hero." - Dara McMahon, Director of Marketing and Digital Experience at @AerLingus

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) January 18, 2019

The increased darkness of the green on the tail also allows for the lighter shade of the shamrock to stand out even brighter, heralding the arrival of the popular Irish planes. 

"The green heart-shaped shamrock becomes the hero," McMahon added.

"We wanted the shamrock to be the hero."

Those who like to Instagram every step of their journey will also be delighted to see the addition of the new shamrock design on the tips of the wings to allow for a picture-perfect, flying-into-the-sunset moment.  

The new Aer Lingus shamrock. Image: Aer Lingus.

The new Aer Lingus shamrock. Image: Aer Lingus.

While the new design strives to keep Irishness at its core, with the hospitality of the céad míle fáilte in the shamrock's hearts and a Celtic element to the 'g' in Aer Lingus, the stripping down of green from the main body of the planes comes as the airline strives to ensure travelers are aware that they don't just have to fly to Ireland. 

"We are a changing Aer Lingus, no longer just flying point to point. We want to become an international airline without losing that Irishness," McMahon said. 

Read more: Aer Lingus to name two new North American city destinations

"We are a changing Aer Lingus, no longer just flying point to point. We want to become an international airline without losing that Irishness" - Dara McMahon, Director of Marketing and Digital Experience at @AerLingus #AerLingus pic.twitter.com/USi61A7GoO

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) January 18, 2019

The refresh is part of the airline’s ambitious growth plan which will see Aer Lingus increase its North Atlantic fleet from 17 to 30 aircraft by 2023.  Overall, Aer Lingus plans to grow its A330 fleet to 16 aircraft (from 13 in 2017) and invest in 14 new A321LRs to provide capacity for growth across the Atlantic and within Europe.

Aer Lingus team celebrate the new livery. Image: Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus team celebrate the new livery. Image: Aer Lingus.

"Aer Lingus has had exceptional success in recent years: adding new routes, new aircraft, new jobs and new opportunities for colleagues and guests alike," Sean Doyle, Chief Executive Officer, Aer Lingus said of the rebrand after Dublin's unveiling. 

 “The refreshed brand reflects an airline that connects those living in Montreal to Marseilles; in Berlin to Boston; as well as those living in Cork to Croatia." 

In further good news for travelers, the launch coincided with the start of a new Aer Lingus sale offering flights to Europe from $499. 

Have you ever flown with Aer Lingus? Tell us about your first Aer Lingus flight in the comments section below. 

You can read more on the Dublin unveiling of Aer Lingus' new livery on IrishCentral here. 

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Aer Lingus's new livery lands in JFK airport, New York, for the first time. IrishCentral