American Airlines unveils new logo, livery
Jan 17, 2013 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
American Airlines on Thursday unveiled a new logo and plane exterior, even as it contemplates a mega-merger with US Airways.
The new look is meant to make the outside of American's planes "reflect the progress we've made on the inside," said CEO Tom Horton in a video announcement.
The look is meant to be light, vibrant and modern, he said.
The logo and "livery" are being introduced as American, which is in bankruptcy protection, readies to fly its new Boeing 777-300ER airplanes and take delivery on hundreds of other planes in the coming years.
Many of those new planes will be lighter aircraft made of composite materials that must be painted, making the polished silver look of American no longer an option. Instead, silver mica paint was chosen to maintain the heritage, the airline said.
New logos and livery are often a step taken after a major merger, not before.
"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," Horton said.
Reaction from American's unions, which support a merger, was swift Thursday morning.
"A new paint job is fine but it does not fix American's network deficiencies and toxic culture, so we continue our steadfast support of a merger with US Airways and not doubling down on the network strategy that brought us into bankruptcy," said Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots. "American's network needs more than cosmetic changes to compete with Delta and United; simply put, it needs to merger with US Airways now."
The flight attendants union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, was more reserved.
"We hope this rebranding is the first of many steps toward making American Airlines a company that we can be proud to work for and one that can grow and compete in today's marketplace," said APFA spokeswoman Leslie Mayo. "That can only happen with a merger inside bankruptcy."
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