| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Sky-High Paint Job Goes to a Vote

Friday, December 20, 2013

More items for Coating Application

Comment | More

Its recent merger with US Airways has American Airlines saying “out with the old and in with the new”—or maybe, it’s “in with the old and out with the new.”

Faced with painting hundreds of new airplanes, the company just can't decide what look to go with, so new CEO Doug Parker is letting the employees pick between AA's newest design or its old "eagle" look.

Well, they at least get to pick what goes on the tail. The company already spent a nice chunk of change in January when it unveiled a new logo and exterior for its planes to build anticipation for its "landmark aircraft order" of 550 new planes.

American Airlines paint
Facebook / American Airlines

All employees of recently merged American Airlines and US Airways have until Jan. 2 to cast their vote for either keeping the tail design on the newest AA paint job (top) or reverting back to the old design.

But with the merger on Dec. 9, an additional 620 planes displaying the US Airways livery will have to be converted.

Merits of Aircraft Livery

Parker sent a message to his employees outlining his plan to let them choose the new paint job.

"While I enjoy debating the merits of certain aircraft liveries as much as anyone, I have always believed they are not particularly important to the success of an airline," Parker said.

Parker became the CEO after the two airlines merged. He was the chairman and CEO of US Airways.

"[I] have yet to find a customer who based their purchase decision on the exterior design of the airplane," he added.

However, when the airplane is your office, the paint job does matter, which is why Parker says he is letting his employees make the decision. 

Silver Bird Legacy

The look of the airplane fuselage will remain the same, since AA just made the switch from polished to painted silver planes.

The new, lighter aircrafts feature composite materials that must be painted, and the company said its polished metal look was no longer an option.

"[T]he importance of the new paint selection became critical to honoring American's silver bird legacy," the company said in a January statement. "Silver mica paint was chosen as a way to maintain the silver heritage which American's people and customers are passionate about, yet progress ahead with a clean new look."

Red, white and blue—the company's core colors—were updated "to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit," said Virasb Vahidi, American's Chief Commercial Officer.

Redoing all of this recent work would be "irresponsible," Parker noted. Plus, he thinks the "newly painted aircraft look extremely nice."

Employees have until noon CT Jan. 2 to submit their choice.


Tagged categories: Aerospace; Decorative painting; Mergers; Paint application

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Commercial Sand Blasting & Painting Ltd.
Reliable Service & Superior Workmanship

We’re ready to meet any of your protective coating and lining needs. We can work on your site or in our facilities, with large shops (60,000 sq ft), 40 acres of yard space, and cranes and forklifts on site.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting

Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
SSPC 2016 Register Now!

SSPC2016 is earlier this year, don't forget to book your plane tickets and hotel. See you soon. For more information visit

Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

ITW Binks
Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit for more information.

Elcometer, Inc.
Durability & Design meet
Performance & Reliability

Elcometer 319 Dewpoint Meter
View the technical data on the Elcometer Dewpoint meter.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. It has no equal; only wannabees.
Contact us for your
nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

AW Chesterton
ARC Protective Coatings

perform reliably under the most demanding exposures in the toughest process conditions. Use our Coating Selector Tool for your application needs at

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Truss bridge treated in 2000 with Termarust's (HR CSA) field-proven rust mitigation system chemically stopped corrosion, crevice corrosion & pack rust.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail