American Airlines has unveiled a new logo and new livery on the already delivered Flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will take to the skies on 31 January 2013. Which raises an interesting question: will pilots threaten to go on strike the way they did the last time American introduced a new logo and livery?
It’s been a while since American Airlines last revamped its look – about 30 years, if I remember correctly. That’s when the airline switched from its blue and orange against a silver exterior to a red, white, and blue colour scheme. The airline’s signature polished metal exterior, however, was maintained.
Pilots Threaten to Strike
Pilots, however, were outraged that the airline’s symbol, an eagle, had been dropped from the logo and threatened to go on strike.
In the end, the airline agreed to add a stylized version of an eagle between the double AAs, which were to become the airline’s new logo.
At first, I thought that the airline had decided once again to drop the eagle from its livery. It was nowhere to be seen on the tail of the airplane. It was only upon closer examination that I noticed a highly stylized version of an eagle toward the front of the fuselage. This time, however, the eagle looked more like an airplane than a bird.
Will pilots be happy? Only time will tell.
550 New Airplanes on Order
American Airlines plans to continue taking delivery of new planes in 2013 as part of its historic order of 550 new aircraft.
“Since placing our landmark aircraft order in July of 2011, we’ve been building anticipation toward a moment in time when the outside of our aircraft reflects the progress we’ve made to modernize our airline on the inside,” says Tom Horton, American’s Chairman and CEO.
“While we complete the evaluation of whether a merger can build on American’s strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take to renew our airline, a step we take with great respect for our name American. Today marks important progress in that journey as we unveil a new and updated look for the first time in more than 40 years.”
One of the hallmarks of the American Airlines livery from the get go has been the polished metal – rather than a painted – aircraft exterior.
With the delivery of hundreds of new, lighter aircraft built of composite materials, however, polished metal was no longer an option. The planes had to be painted.
Silver Bird Legacy
Wanting to maintain its “silver bird” legacy, Ameican Airlines decided on silver mica paint as a way of maintaining the look – if not the metal.
“Our new logo and livery are designed to reflect the passion for progress and the soaring spirit, which is uniquely American,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer.
“Our core colors – red, white, and blue – have been updated to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit. The new tail, with stripes flying proudly, is a bold reflection of American’s origin and name. And our new flight symbol, an updated eagle, incorporates the many icons that people have come to associate with American, including the ‘A’ and the star.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but I always thought that the old American Airlines’ livery – with those three broad stripes running the length of the fuselage – looked like an extremely elongated French flag. Why was it blue, white, and red rather than red, whte and blue? As for the new livery? Well?
Okay, the new livery most definitely does NOT look like an elongated French flag. It DOES look more like an extremely stylized American flag than a French flag. That is for sure.
But it also seems strangely reminiscent of the tail of British Airways airliners – don’t they sport the Union Jack?
Having said that, I must admit. The new livery looks pretty cool. And I’m glad they kept the silver skin!