October 5, 2012

New Livery for American Airlines?

For decades American Airlines has flown unpainted, polished aluminum airplanes. But that may soon change.  American’s livery has been in use since 1967, outlasting mergers, failures and shifting tastes across the industry. A new exterior also may mean dropping the signature bare-metal skin that dates to the era of propeller-driven airliners, which the airline has called a fuel-saver because an unpainted plane weighs less.

Months ago, American Chief Executive Tom Horton hinted at a meeting of corporate travel managers that a new logo and new paint scheme for jets are coming, likely as the company emerges from bankruptcy-court reorganization and tries to set a new course.  Given the events of the past month, emerging with a new image is as important as ever.

“This is going to be a new airline,’’ Mr. Horton said at the Global Business Travel Association convention in Boston. He was referring to American’s plans to emerge from bankruptcy as an independent carrier, not to an ongoing exploration and evaluation of a possible merger with US Airways or some other airline.  “ We're working on modernization of the American Airlines brand and we'll unveil something in the future. We're also thinking about the look of our airplanes,’’ Mr. Horton said. “Stay tuned on that.’’

Besides image and fuel savings, there’s a structural reason American is going to have to start painting its planes. The Boeing 787s American has on order don’t have aluminum skins, but are constructed with composite materials that are essentially super-strong plastics that must be painted. Large portions of the new Airbus planes American has ordered are also fabricated with composite materials.

Change is rarely easy and almost never pleases everyone.  But it's almost a certainty that American Airlines will emerge from bankruptcy looking much different than it does today.  Hopefully the change will be more than skin deep.

A quick google search produced a handful of creative ideas for what the "new" American may look like.  In no particular order.  Take a look and see what you think.  


















Update:  Now that the design...two years in the making...is out of the bag, here are a couple of options that might have gone over better.  The bottom is my personal favorite as I am fond of the new logo, but hate the tail design.



Click the link below to see American's first Boeing 777-300 being painted..

New American Airlines Livery Taking Shape at the Paint Booth




25 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I like any of them, but I'm quite sure that I HATE the 747. That thing on the tail looks like a sick chicken!

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  2. Hey Brad, Me neither! I admit to always loving the metal AA livery. In any event, I truly hope they get the house in order. -Jon

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  3. I don't really like any of them either. the 6th one looks like a Mexicana plane. I guess the 7th one isn't too bad. I'll always have a soft spot for the polished aluminum.

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  4. It will never be the American Airlines I know, (or knew) and used to love, unless it sports shining aluminum airplanes. It is a sad metaphor to what is lost, the gleaming image of a former time, when flying was special. I started my career in the early '70s. Since then, countless changes have degraded the airline career, from something to be envied, to something almost laughable. I stayed for 35 years....it is a heartbreaking change.

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    1. My Uncle was a Cpt. for American for 35 years. I am only 35 but I feel the same way about the polished aluminum birds, they WILL be missed.

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  5. Number Seven, and yes it does look like the old Mexicana scheme... but it is both simple and business-like. Anything more than this is too wild and cheap looking. I give credit to Delta for going the same way. Having said that, I figure our management will pick the tackiest scheme possible, and we that fly them will wonder how in the world they could make our beautiful 777-300 look so ugly!!!

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    1. correction...I meant the old aeromexico scheme, not mexicana. sorry

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  6. I grew up dreaming of flying the Big Silver Birds--because they were Big and Silver! Gonna miss the REAL AA livery.... :(

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  7. The last looks like US airways white with AA logo & titles... I guess it was made in the eventuality of a merger, but it does look pretty good.
    Aeromexico-like paint also looks good. We'll have to wait & see

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  8. I like the 6th one on the 777, on the 787 "Concept Livery" I would personally prefer the darker color to be on the bottom of the airplane and then fade its way to white towards the top of the plane.

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  9. Hmm, yes that AA/USAir livery is pretty telling...!

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  10. How about trying #3...a great change for the NEW AA.

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  11. Well, if its going to change then, I like #5. A little modern mixed with Nostalgia.

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  12. Hmmm, change is always hard, especially when you are dealing with an absolute classic like the AA logo is/was. My vote is the first one, the one at the top. It retains the classic American Airlines look with a modern twist. The second image...was anyone else getting a flashback to the ONA "Bincentennial" DC-8 or was that just me? The next two look to me like someone from TWA must have been on the new logo committee. As for the logo depicted on the 747-400, I always wanted to know what my brain on drugs looked like; now I know.

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  13. All of the designs are alright. At the end of the day, the design does not matter too much. Its main top is only for the publicity of American Airlines. If I’d be a passenger, I won’t even bother if the design is awful, what I’ll be interested to look into is the safety and the precautionary measures the Airline has.

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  14. “This is going to be a new airline,’’ Mr. Horton said...
    a new airline with the same bad leadership, only much richer. You can put a coat of lipstick on that pig.....it's still gonna wallow.

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  15. I love the current one all of these in my opinion are garbage. The current also really looks good on the MD80

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  16. I Love #9, If #9 would come true, that would look SO AWESOME, even for EAGLE.. it rocks.. ( just think the ATRs might look like that.. AWESOME! )

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  17. All that paint weighs large. There was a cost savings in not carrying all that enamel. I always thought the airline was smart and smart-looking with the gleaming silver body. All this paint and trim will require more upkeep in manhours and product to keep it looking that way. Let's hang on to the silver streak!

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  18. The A330 on the bottom is just a photo-shopped US Airways livery, I know for a fact that Mr. Horton is not going to use that one if he expects anyone to fly American. Personally I prefer the second livery (the one that looks like a 757-200) Only time will tell.

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  19. http://www.airliners.net/photo/American-Airlines/Boeing-737-823/2214582/L/
    her it is, the new

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  20. Somehow I still like to dream of what might have been.

    -Jay, O'HareAviation

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  21. Definitely not the top one. That version of the stylized Eagle reminds me of Maleficent, the evil dragoness fairy from Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty."

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  22. Doug Parker is proceeding to ruin the AA brand just as he did US. His less than intellectual management team is blowing it again. Why not keep the polished aluminum skin while painting only the composites silver (or some other color), just as AA did with the Airbus? The fuel savings is undeniable and the maintenance cost is, arguably, a wash in that savings from less time spent in airframe inspections is made up for in polishing. Juan Trippe must be spinning in his grave. RIP AA.

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  23. Don't care for any of these.

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