American Airline's New Livery Soon Could Become Its Old Look

Remarks by incoming CEO hint that airline's livery could change after merger

American Airlines is looking toward the future, but the "new American" that was rolled out in January might soon be a thing of the past.

The Fort Worth-based airline debuted its new livery in January, holding a big rollout for its new look.

Some even speculated that the livery -- which was unveiled before American and US Airways voted to combine -- was a combination of the two airlines' looks and a hint at the merger.

But there's a chance the livery could change again.

Incoming American Airlines CEO and current US Airways CEO Doug Parker made remarks to flight attendants and pilots on Tuesday that suggested the airline's future look is uncertain.

"Maybe we need to do something slightly different than that," he said when asked directly. "It may be something dramatically different than that. I really don't know the answer."

"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," Parker went on to say.

His comments sparked a number of questions about the future of will be the world's largest airline.

"A merger is a work in progress," said Mike Davis, and economist at Southern Methodist University. "It's going to take a long time to work out all of the details. This rebranding thing is a small detail. Symbolically, it's important, but there are many more things that need to be worked out before they're effectively merged."

American Airlines spokeswoman Stacey Frantz released the following statement Thursday:

"We remain committed to building the new American -- one fully reflective of the new, combined company. So, while we will be painting new aircraft as they come into the fleet this year and beginning to update signage and other environments throughout the system with our new look, we are mindful that we are now creating an even better brand through our merger. In other words, our new brand will be about far more than our new look. It will be about providing our customers with a robust and significantly expanded network, the best alliance partners, an upgraded fleet that will be one of the most modern in the industry, continued investment in products and services our customers value most, and a brand new American attitude reflective of our combined cultures. So a long way of saying stay tuned because there's a lot more great brand work in store. Doug Parker and the US Airways team have reviewed the extensive work that has gone into developing our brand strategy -- which goes well beyond logo and livery -- and are very interested to learn more as we work together to determine the best go-forward strategy as we move towards the proposed merger."

In an email, a US Airways representative referenced Frantz's statement, saying, "We concur with every word it contains."

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