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December 16, 2013

American CEO Parker to employees: pick the tail you like best

Now that the merger between American Airlines and US Airways has closed, American CEO Doug Parker kept getting asked one question, over and over again.

AA-livery-Current-more-metallicAre you going to keep the livery that American unveiled last January?

Parker has decided to let employees choose.

In a letter sent to employees on Monday, Parker said the airline is going to keep the fuselage paint job since the new aircraft American is receiving from Airbus and Boeing are made of composite materials instead of the aluminum that created the polished silver look for the past few decades.

But the tail can be changed.

"I think the newly painted aircraft look extremely nice and have heard the same from many of you. So, we aren’t going to mess with the fuselage. That just leaves the tail," Parker wrote.

image from http://aviary.blob.core.windows.net/k-mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp-13121623/312f9c0f-ddc7-4376-a923-efeb63a07e67.png
Employees will have two choices. They can either keep the new tail with the American flag or they can go back to the AA logo with an eagle between the As.

Parker said there are currently more than 200 aircraft with the new livery so it would be too expensive to completely replace the livery.

"However you may feel about the new livery and branding, the fact is it would be irresponsible for us to start over from scratch," Parker said. But he said he had heard from many employees who missed the old AA logo with the eagle and that is why it was included as a choice.

Employees have until January 2 at noon to cast their votes.

Parker said he does not care which tail wins. He added that the airline will continue US Airways’ history of having a few vintage liveries on aircraft in their fleet. A TWA livery plane is planned and the airline will keep a heritage American polished silver livery in the fleet as well.

In an interview the week before the merger closed, Parker said he thought the new American livery was well done and has a “nice look to it,” but he bristled at the idea that he was spending a lot of time thinking about the livery.

“I do think that airline executives spend far too much time worrying about the livery of the airplane. The customers don’t care about it. I don’t want to fall into that trap and spend all my time worrying about liveries. I’m not. It’s important to the brand so it needs to be consistent with the brand. It’s important to our employees so I care about what our employees think but you know that is not near the top of the list of things we’re worrying about right now,” Parker said.

Click here to download Parker's livery letter.

-Andrea Ahles




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I am of the opinion that any change now would be a mistake. i base my conclusion on the following reasons: 1 It is a little late in the fleet repainting evolution to go through the expense, time and schedule interuption to re-repaint 200 plus aircraft. 2 Going with the new paint with old tail logo will create a corporate identity crisis with both the flying public and the employees by utilizing two brand logos.


looks like some redneck from texas thought of this idea.but then again its texas.


the whole paint scheme looks like a circus clown plane.whoever designed this must of been on crystal meth.start from scratch and get some real colors.it looks like a big flying hot dog stand.

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