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American Airlines CEO to Let Employees Choose the Tail Design

Dec 17, 2013 12:01 am

Skift Take

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says it would be too expensive to remove the fuselage paint job unveiled earlier this year, but he will let employees choose the tail design. It’s sort of passing the buck, but at the same time Parker is looking to get employees more involved the airline, and this is one way to get the process started.

— Dennis Schaal

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American Airlines employees can opt to choose the prior tail design or go with the new one unveiled earlier this year. A US Airways plane passes American Airlines planes at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington April 23, 2012. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

An American Airlines jet crosses International Parkway as motorist slowly travel at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT

Now that the merger between American Airlines and US Airways has closed, American CEO Doug Parker kept getting asked one question over and over again.
Are you going to keep the livery that American unveiled last January?

Parker has decided to let employees choose.

In a letter sent to employees on Monday, Parker said the airline is going to keep the fuselage paint job since the new aircraft American is receiving from Airbus and Boeing are made of composite materials instead of the aluminum that created the polished silver look for the past few decades.

But the tail can be changed.

“I think the newly painted aircraft look extremely nice and have heard the same from many of you. So, we aren’t going to mess with the fuselage. That just leaves the tail,” Parker wrote.

Employees will have two choices. They can either keep the new tail with the American flag or they can go back to the AA logo with an eagle between the As.

Parker said there are currently more than 200 aircraft with the new livery so it would be too expensive to completely replace the livery.

“However you may feel about the new livery and branding, the fact is it would be irresponsible for us to start over from scratch,” Parker said.

Employees have until January 2 at noon to cast their votes.

Parker said he does not care which tail wins. He added that the airline will continue US Airways’ history of having a few vintage liveries on aircraft in their fleet. A TWA livery plane is planned and the airline will keep a heritage American polished silver livery in the fleet as well.

Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk ___

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