60K Airline Workers Pick New Paint
It was a close race, but American Airlines employees have spoken, voting to repaint hundreds of aircraft with a new red, white and blue flag design.
New CEO Doug Parker announced last month that employees would get to choose how to paint hundreds of new airplanes that American Airlines acquired with its Dec. 9 merger with US Airways.
Employees voted for the new tail design by a narrow margin (31,355 to 29,063) by the time voting closed at noon CT Thursday (Jan. 2). More than 60,000 employees weighed in, to send the old AA eagle packing.
The decision means that more than 1,100 American and US Airways aircraft will be repainted with the flag design. They include 300 US Airways "mainline" aircraft, 280 US Airways Express planes, and 539 American planes, according to Philly.com.
'Small But Important Step'
"After three weeks, much conversation, and more than 60,000 employees voting, we now have an answer," Parker said in an employee memo.
"It was very close, but the majority has spoken, and the new flag tail will proudly represent American Airlines—and all of us—for years to come," Parker announced.
He added: "We, of course, can't vote on every decision at the airline, but we do want input from all of you in issues that are important to your work lives. This was a small but important step in bringing us together and beginning to move forward
"Now, let's get working together on the difficult task ahead—restoring American to the greatest airline in the world."
Last year, AA announced the new tail design, along with a switch from polished to painted silver planes. The new, lighter aircrafts feature composite materials that must be painted, replacing the company's traditional polished metal look.