Doug Parker, new CEO of American Airlines, is having employees settle a dispute over the fleet’s appearance by letting them pick a design for the planes’ tails. They’ll get to choose between a stylized eagle that graced the tails for many years, and the bold red, white and blue horizontal bars that replaced the bird earlier this year. Doug Parker said Monday that voting will run through Jan. 2. Parker said in a message to employees that repainting the planes’ bodies would be too costly, “So we aren’t going to mess with the fuselage. That just leaves the tail.” Airline employees can be passionate about livery. Parker said some people asked him which tail design he’d like to see win. “The answer is I honestly do not care,” he told employees. “I think both look fantastic.”
Full article from the AP here.
There was always the possibility that the tail could change post-merger, as you may remember from Doug’s interview last March in this post:
Steve Carter: The paint scheme… nothing, I’m just saying is wrong with the paint scheme, but is there some… is there a plan in place to… now that you’re on board with all this, is there a plan in place to change the paint scheme at this point with American?
Doug Parker: There’s no plan yet. That’s one of these integration issues we need to work through and I really don’t know what the answer to this is because right now. Again, two separate companies. They are painting airplanes in that scheme that they rolled out, and, you know, when it comes time where we actually have one airline, we should decide whether or not we want to keep… We are going to have to paint three hundred and fifty of our airplanes of course, in some scheme, so we will need to at that time assess what’s the best thing to do to paint all the airplanes. I really don’t have the answers. It may be just to keep painting them the way American’s painting them. Maybe we need to do something slightly different than that, it may be something dramatically Page 3 of 11 different than that. I really don’t know the answer Steve. I’m not trying to dodge the question, I just… we just don’t know the answer. Probably the best way for me to say it is this, had we done the merger a year ago, before they started painting airplanes, I think we probably would have said, let’s just go make them all look like the existing American fleet, you know. We will just paint ours to look like that. Maybe we would have thought about doing something combined, but probably not. So that’s one way to think of it. And if we would have done the merger a year from now and they already had all their airplanes painted, we probably would have said, let’s just paint all of ours like theirs. The only reason this is an issue now is because they just did it right in the middle, which kind of makes it confusing. So, that gives us an opportunity, actually, to decide if we are going to do something different because we have so many airplanes to paint. But I don’t know the answer yet.
So what say you? Eagle or ‘Flag” ?
- AA’s New Look Unveiled – 1967 Livery Replaced
- AA Livery Changes Possible Post-Merger as per SEC Filing & Doug Parker Comments