American Airlines Employees Vote to Keep New Livery

Some heritage aircraft to maintain legacy Silverbird look

American Airlines employees have voted to keep the new red, white and blue livery on the tails of AA aircraft.

In a letter to employees, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said 60 percent of employees voted for which tail they preferred -- the current look that resembles the U.S. Flag or the old logo that included the letters AA and an eagle silhouette.

Parker said 60,418 people voted, with 31,355 voting in favor of the new look.  The vote was close, with those in favor of the new look earning about 52 percent of the vote.

American introduced the new logo in Jan. 2013 and soon after began repainting planes. The change was necessary because the carbon-composite bodies on many new jets made it impractical to keep the polished-metal look that American had sported since the 1960s. Parker added it would be too costly to start painting over the bodies of freshly painted planes, but that employees could vote on the tail design.

For those who hoped the Fort Worth-based airline would return to silver aircraft with the AA on the tail, Parker offered the following as consolation:

"For those of you who really wanted to bring back the AA, know that it will still be with us. First, it will take us many months to paint the 580 US Airways aircraft and those aircraft will be the priority which means the remaining classic Silverbirds will still be flying for some time. Also, as previously announced, we intend to have heritage aircraft in our fleet going forward, so the AA livery will remain in our system even after all of the fleet has been painted," Parker said in his letter.

The airline said they have more than 1,100 American Airlines and U.S. Airways aircraft to be painted, not including retiring or new deliveries.  Of those 1,100 aircraft, 300 are U.S. mainline aircraft, 280 are U.S. Airways Express aircraft and 539 are American Airlines aircraft.

"What's really great is that this livery now represents the people of American Airlines. We voted for it and it is ours. I will now forever look at this livery with a great sense of pride and know that you will too," Parker said in his letter.

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