White planes are more fuel-efficient than flashy planes
The vast majority of people flying home this week in a post-holiday haze will ride in a white plane. After a long history of dolling planes up to stand out, airline executives are opting for white designs, both because it's cheaper and because it's more fuel-efficient (read: cheaper).
White paint wears more slowly, so fewer paint jobs are needed. White paint also means less paint, which makes planes a tiny bit lighter. For a metal tube hurtling through the air, that weight makes a difference. But it also looks way more boring, which is probably why there aren’t a lot of movies set on airport runways anymore.
On Jet Exteriors, A Parade of Vanilla, The New York Times.