Wednesday, July 23, 2008

South America Regional

It's time for the first regional tournament of the Best Color Scheme Among Flag Carriers Tournament. Let's head south, way south, and start with South America.

In the interest of full disclosure (I work at the government, so I don't get to say "fill disclosure" much and mean it - whoa, that felt good), you should know that I am from Argentina, and Aerolineas Argentinas is very much a favorite in this region. However, my job is to be fair with legislation, so I will be fair with my heart as well in this tournament.

With that being the bracket:

There are ten players in this region: Aerolineas Argentinas, Lloyd Aereo Boliviano (LAB), TAM Mercosur, LANChile, PLUNA, Varig, TAME, Avianca, Conviasa, and Air Peru. Here's how I split them up: We'll have a Southern Cone and Amazon sector. There will be a play-in match in each sector, and the winners of the play-in will face Aerolineas Argentinas and Varig (both chosen because they serve the countries with the biggest populations on the continent).

Here are the first round matches, including the play-ins:

Southern Cone Sector:
Aerolineas Argentinas - BYE
LAB vs TAM Mercosur - Play-in, winner faces Aerolineas Argentinas

Amazon Sector:
Varig - BYE
TAME vs Conviasa - Play-in, winner faces Varig
Avianca vs Air Peru the results:

LAB vs TAM Mercosur: This was, in my mind a very difficult round to judge because both schems seem very unimaginative. It's not that I don't like simple schemes, but at least offer me something interesting - a logo, a picture of a bird, an interesting name. These airlines offer neither of these. The names of the airlines don't help. Lloyd Aereo Boliviano - could you even fit that on a fuselage and still read it --- and who names an airline Lloyd?? TAM Mercosur -- You can't even tell where it's from. Pretty disappointed here, but I go with LAB on the basis that the light blue against the white is much more pleasant and they actually have something creative on the tail. WINNER: LAB
LANChile vs PLUNA: First of all, I have to give serious props to LANChile for their new color scheme, it is much more pleasant than the old colors. Again, the old was simple, which is not bad, but the star on it made it look like a sheriff. Here's my problem with LANChile, the red stripe makes it look like it's unhappy. I can see that they want to add a highlight of red on the plane because red is on Chile's flag, but couldn't they think of a better way to do it. And I'm not too crazy about the faded star on the tail. I want striking images on a color scheme - not some sort of airbrush star that I could see in a children's book. PLUNA is certainly not the most exciting scheme in the world, but it is striking and there's a sense of certainty and boldness. Also, I like the script Uruguay. Big upset here folks, WINNER: PLUNA

TAME vs Conviasa: Another play-in match, and another difficult choice, in my opinion. What is it with South America and blue color schemes? TAME is certainly interesting, but seems a bit too busy. Too many lines, And when I look at Conviasa, I don't know whether to like it or carve a jack-o-lantern into it. That shade of orange is just not doing it for me. Reluctantly, I'll say WINNER: TAME

Avianca vs Air Peru: I worried that during this contest I would make contradictory statements - and here's a possibly contradictory statement. I said earlier that the red in TAM Mercosur was not tasteful, and here, Avianca shows how you can do red with style. Air Peru is also a tasteful red, but it's too triangular-ish. WINNER: AVIANCA

PLUNA and Avianca advance to the Semis ... let's see who they will face...

Aerolineas Argentinas vs LAB: I know that I may come off as a homer here, but there's really no match here at all. Aerolineas is a classy and simple color scheme. True, it's not the most flashy color scheme, but it reflects the country's national colors with taste. The tail blue and condor logo on the engines are a plus. WINNER: AEROLINEAS ARGENTINASVARIG vs TAME: I'm a big fan of VARIG's color scheme, especially on this DC-10. Again, simple, but effective. I've always liked the compass/star on the tail, and the script Brasil is a nice addition. We all knew TAME was not going anywhere, anyways. WINNER: VARIG
To the Semifinals:
Aerolineas Argentinas vs PLUNA: These two countries have a proud tradition of competition in soccer, territory, mate, and now, finally, flag carrier color schemes. PLUNA has a bold tail design, although it kind of looks like the nose and whiskers of a small rodent. But I also think that a national carrier must carry itself with grace and style, and the Aerolineas Argentinas color scheme is so classy. Simple, yet powerful. Like most other competitions between these two countries, Argentina comes out on top. WINNER: AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS

VARIG vs Avianca: VARIG has the most diverse fleet of any South American flag carrier. And the color scheme looks good on each one of the planes. That's a winner in my mind. WINNER: VARIG

And, now, the moment you have all been waiting for...THE FINALS

Aerolineas Argentinas vs VARIG: How could I set myself up this way. My country of birth facing off against our rival in almost every aspect of life. I think what it comes down to here is that VARIG has been able to distinguish it's color scheme much more than Aerolineas. The Argentine flag carrier's condor logo on the tail could well be confused for that of another country at a distance, but when you see that star on VARIG's tail, you KNOW you're looking at Brasil's national airline. As much as it pains me to say this: WINNER: VARIG

You screwed me again, Brasil.

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