richierich
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Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:52 am

I normally like the status quo, especially when concerning a topic near and dear to my heart: airline color schemes.

But American Airline's scheme is ancient and, in my mind, ugly. Polished aluminum may have looked good in the 50s, but I don't find it attractive at all circa 2003. Especially when more and more parts on modern aircraft are made of composite materials, and can only painted a battleship grey color to match the polished look of the rest of the aircraft. The result: an even uglier combination of colors and textures.
It is time to bring AA up to the 00's. Incorporate the US flag or the stars and stripes, but lose the steel and metallic look (I don't care that having no paintwork means less maintenance or better fuel economy!)

The truth is, I liked the final TWA scheme. I thought it was classy and true to its heritage without having to go overboard and resort to cartoons or other craziness on the side of its planes. I know purists still cry over the demise of the red and white TWA planes, but they were outdated too, and now of course all those planes where the aforementioned AA "colors" anyway!

Note to AA: please update your colors and lose the tacky steel/grey effect. Just don't do what NWA did... they took a good color scheme and made it into a monstrosity. It will take a while for the new colors of Northwest to grow on me.
None shall pass!!!!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:57 am

I agree that AA needs an update and soon. Tho by not painting the planes it does save on overall weight of the planes. I think what NW has done to change there CS's is a very good idea in this day and age, lower costs, less paint and life cycle of the paint job goes from 5 years to 6 years.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
richierich
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:07 am

That's true about NWA's new scheme.. less is IN!
But I just hope AA throws some red, white and blue on the plane instead. They should take a page out of their Oneworld partner's book (British) and come up with a scheme that is classy and elegant.
None shall pass!!!!
 
duke
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:14 am

Well, that would be a whole lot of planes to paint! That
would be an extremely expensive job and with the company's
finances not exactly shipshape, I don't know. Plus, once
more, the advantage of less weight. But if, say, they were to
paint future deliveries, maybe they could. But if they do so,
I hope that one way or another, they'll make them look smart
and not tacky. Any concrete ideas for a livery?
 
luv2fly
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:19 am

I agree about BA's CS's I think AA could do something similar on the tails of there planes.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
tekelberry
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:20 am

AA is in no financial situation to start repainting all their planes right now.
 
richierich
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:27 am

Well, it is true, there is an enormous cost to painting the planes that AA can't afford right now.
But image counts for a lot in this business. And right now their image is hurting, especially post 9/11. The time for a change is nigh.
I'd like to see something involving the Stars & Stripes... even though the US does not have one official flag carrier, American is arguable the closest to one. It has to be patriotic yet inoffensive. Something that inspires and that is not sterile. While it can relate to AA schemes of the past, I hope there is little or no grey/silver/unpainted areas.
Oh, and it can't be wildly different, as NWA and Japan Air Lines recently decided to do with their awful new schemes.
None shall pass!!!!
 
caetravlr
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:46 am

I personally don't mind the silver/metallic look. I like that part. Though I do agree with the fact that more and more composite parts are going to clash with this.

However, even if they did keep the metallic/silver theme, the 3 stripes down the fuselage, and the "American" font are simply quite dated and get uglier by the day. I actually like the retrojets they did, but don't think an entire fleet would look good in that. They do need to do something with the current scheme though. That would be my opinion.

Didn't someone say something one time about something special they did to the aluminum making it actually difficult/impossible to paint all of the skin anyway? I may be making that part up, but I thought I read that somewhere. However, change the font of the lettering, and ditch the stripes, and you have a nice start.

Regards,
CAETravlr
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
Greg
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:47 am

It's a true classic and every bit as pleasing as the best of the new liveries been applied out there.
Nothing about it needs to change with the simple possibility of cleaning the planes more often.

There is no marketing or monetary reason for the change.

Again, what's good for the enthusiast is rarely of any value to the operation of the the airline.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:55 am

AA should leave it as is. It's a classic. Smart, original & timeless.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
AIR757200
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:05 am


Let's paint it all one color like every other airline?

Greg's post is how I feel about AA's livery. No change is needed. AA's image of the red-white-blue on polish is very important and means a great deal to the inner-culture, from employees to management.

In reference to composite parts, a nice bright silver scheme in replacement to the polish would look nice. Everything else remains the same.

Portions Section 4 of my Employee Guidebook (copyright 2000-AMR Training Group, Inc.);

A painted MD-11, our largest airplane, would weight about 250 pounds more than a polished one. On average, painting our fleet would increase the weight of each airplane 130 pounds. Since each pound of fleet weight adds about $8,000 per year of fuel expense at today's prices, not painting the fleet saves us about one million dollars annually in fuel costs alone.

And much more info... So obviously, recalculate the numbers into today's terms (and minus the MD-11).
 
flyingbronco05
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:08 am

There is no need to change it.

ATC's love the livery cause the planes are so easy to spot (easier then other planes).

I think AA has the best livery out of all the airlines.
Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
 
cedarjet
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:08 am

Why change it? It doesn't look out of date at all. Some airlines never quite get it right and need to change every ten years to keep abreast of fashion(NW, UA), but AA got it right back in 1968 or whenever it was.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
clrd2go
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:11 am


I vote for leaving it the way it is.



Jim
What a long strange trip it's been
 
luv2fly
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:21 am

It does need to be updated! Maybe not a total overhaul tho it could be brought into the year 2003. I am a BIG fan of the red white and blue tho I feel that the AA CS's has become tired and in need of a face lift.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Alitalia744
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:22 am

Leave AA's as is, and while we're at it, isn't Alitalia's livery fierce as well?

-G
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
Gnomon
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:38 am

It would make sense if AA were to change its livery now, for the following reasons:

1.) New management. AA's management team, headed by Arpey, is admittedly a team of AA old-timers, but airlines historically have changed their image within a couple of years of hiring new management (DL, NW, US, TW, CO, etc.).

2.) Brand association. Images of AA's current livery, while memorable, established, and familiar, swarmed around Sept. 11, with commonly circulated footage of one of its 767s flying into the World Trade Center. Moreover, the familiar A'A eagle logo made the front page and news teasers around the world when AA587 crashed and recovery crews fished the intact tail and AA logo out of the water. Although most studies indicate consumers will forget about those images -- and thus lose those associations -- within a matter of months, it still should figure importantly into new management's thinking about the AA image.

3.) A symbolic move. Changing the carrier's graphic image could easily signify to customers and employees the beginning of a new era at the carrier, doing away with the tired business and service model, and creating a new one. Changing the livery and concurrently implementing a recovery plan worked at CO in the mid-90s, and helped align employees with Mullin's vision at DL (or so I'm told). It also could be an option at AA.

For discussion's sake, all that said, my vote would be to keep it. I'd hate to see AA's familiar colors go. Plus, granted, I'm no visual artist or designer, but supposing AA wants to keep its bare-metal look, I can't think of anything with red, white, and blue on bare metal that looks better than the current scheme.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:40 am

Alitalia's livery is indeed fierce. As fresh as ever. Nice one Alitalia744.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:43 am

Tekelberry is right: changing liveries can spice things up, and give a carrier a new, fresh look, but AA needs their cash for other, more important things right now.

As far as changing it, I'm against it. I think the AA livery is simple, classic and very business-like. It's not fancy, but it's solid.
 
milemaster
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:47 am

I never understood why it's such a big deal as to how an airline paints it's aircrcraft.

I feel it's a big deal when an airline doesn't have to paint it's aircraft to put it in it's fleet. To me that's worth discussing..

I also read somewhere that they don't have to worry about EPA guidelines and other paint related environmental concerns.

As Greg said earlier, "what's good for the enthusiast is rarely of any value to the operation of the the airline."

Word to that.
 
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STT757
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:48 am

AA's livery is classy, a couple of tweaks here and there might not be bad but definetly keep the polished base.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
DodgeCharger
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:18 am

Gnomon has a big point with brand association. It's a very recognizable scheme. Does it look good to rebrand your image and aircraft every 10-15 years? Marketing is the key here. Everyone knows that when you see the familiar AA logo it's an American Airlines plane. Companies (not just airlines) spend billions every year just to get some sort of brand recognition with their brands. Just a logo alone can mean a lot. Think about it....everyone recognizes the Coca-Cola logo, the Disney logo, the Chevy logo, the Ford logo, etc.... These logos bring about subconscious thoughts whether good or bad. This is exactly what companies spend billions on doing...building a brand recognition. They of course hope it would be a postive reaction to seeing it of course, that's a whole different topic.

Think about someone who has little knowledge of aviation, are they going to know what the new NWA airlines planes looks like? NWA now has to put extra money into publicity to let the public now about their new aircraft image. AA has built a huge brand recognition on their AA logo and red American title alone. Why change that? Sure it may be old...so is Coca-Colas. The AA is recognizable everywhere American flies. Seeing the same paint scheme for 25 years now looks good and shows signs of stability (even though American is anything but stable right now) But, it is all about marketing your product. A easily recognizable, long standing logo usually is a positive thing.

And just so you know my opinion...Growing up here in Dallas, I am ready for a change. All I see is those familiar AA logos since about 95% of the traffic is American. So yes, I would love to see a change someday. But, it's not about what me and a bunch of other spotters think

DodgeCharger
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:24 am

I don't think AA will change its livery anytime soon.

It's a GREAT looking livery, and it's actually cheaper for AA to use this livery for two reasons: 1) it saves some as much as 200 kg on weight per plane and 2) it's a lot cheaper to apply anti-corrosion coatings and reapply new decals than to repaint the plane every C or D check.

I mean think about it: every since AA implemented the current livery around 1969, other US-based airlines have changed their liveries more than once. US did it twice, CO did it twice, DL did it three times, NW did it three times, and UA did it three times.

[Edited 2003-07-08 23:33:17]
 
petertenthije
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:31 am

They should not change it completely but rather update it.

Paint the surfaces that are more and more often composite. Throw some paint on the tail and the nose and the fleet should look a lot more professional. I personnally do not think it looks professional to have the entire plane shiny(ish) except for some parts. It looks as though those parts came in second hand.
Attamottamotta!
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:36 am

Once AA pulls out of their financial problems they should maybe look at doing a slight change, nothing too drastic- keep the silver and keep the eagle.

Right now they cant even afford to pay a designer.

 
tekelberry
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:57 am

And right now their image is hurting, especially post 9/11.

How so?

I would like them to keep it the way it is. I think it looks great on all their aircraft except for the AB6 (which will probably be retired soon anyways).
 
747-451
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 6:59 am

No! leave it alone--and what? risk disaster like Northwest and Delta with an trocious livery...please, leave well enough alone!
 
tekelberry
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:03 am

risk disaster like Northwest and Delta with an trocious livery...please, leave well enough alone!

Although I agree with you that they should keep the livery, the basic traveller is not going to care about what their plane looks like as long as there is an airline logo on it.
 
AIR757200
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:38 am

the basic traveller is not going to care about what their plane looks like as long as there is an airline logo on it.

It doesn't even help them find their aircraft.  Big grin
 
bigphilnyc
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:40 am

AA is tied for first with my favorite paint shemes.

I LOVE the metallic shine on it. No other plane gives you the kind of glare that you get on it.

Maybe if they kept the shine and the red and blue and just modernized it a bit?
Phil Derner Jr.
 
UK_Dispatcher
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:12 am

I think AA's livery is timeless, and should be kept for many years to come.
 
Guest

RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:47 am

I say leave the AA scheme as it is. I like it very much and I agree that it is classy.

Stephen
 
luisca
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 9:25 am

LEAVE IT AS IT IS

have you ever seen an appoach into miami or into panama (my home city) at sunset, when the sky is orange and the light hits the fuselage at exaclty the right angle so you can see the reflection of the sea and the sunlight in the airplane? its GOERGOUS, ameican has the most beutifull livery of any US major.

although the best livery out there in my opinion is Wunala Deaming
If it ain't Boeing (or Embraer ;-)) I ain't Going!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 9:39 am

Like so many American (meaning US) icons, AAs color scheme is timeless. If you see it, you know exactly what you're looking at. If you change it, you lose your identity.

And like so many American icons, AAs color scheme is refined for its simplicity. Three colors in stripes along the axis of the fuselage, with the "AA" and eagle on the tail. That's it. If they wanted, they could add a touch of gray paint where the current chrome is, but why?

Finally, you're asking AA to add more cost to its already expensive operations in a bad period for the industry. That just doesn't make any business sense.


Okay, now. Why does this come up every couple of weeks? Is this a French conspiracy?

Just kidding, of course!

Cheers!
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
jsnww81
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:29 am

I'm going to dissent here and agree that the livery should go.

Before September 11, I was fairly certain that AA *would* introduce a new scheme at some point before 2005. Afterwards, with the rush of patriotism that came up, I knew the eagle and the three stripes were going to be around for a long, long time.

Still... that scheme was worn by 707s almost 35 years ago. Granted, it was EXTREMELY ahead of its time when it was introduced, and that timelessness is what's helped it survive for so long. Nonetheless, with the management change and narrow escape from bankruptcy, I think now would be a perfect time to introduce something new.

I think it would be great if they could find some way to subtly combine the red, white and blue colors with the old lightning bolt. Done right (and not ostentatiously) I think it would look pretty slick.

However, it's not very likely. AA doesn't really have the cash to repaint its entire fleet. One can always dream, though...  Smile
 
ual767ord
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:29 am

keep the AA livery but please NWA your new painting is absolutly awful looking.
 
MarcoPolo747
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:11 pm

AA's livery is looking definitely outdated but instead of a complete overhaul, the best thing would be keeping the best features the present livery has but bringing it into the 21st century.

An idea would be keeping the plane's fuselage silver as well as the eagle, and some stars and stripes theme on the tail and engines. Composite materials look ugly with that sad

Above all : NO MORE ALL WHITE PLANES PLS ! Look at the new JAL livery ! It looks like there wasn't enough paint to finish the tail. On top they've done away with the beautiful "tsuru" theme which was a classic, Delta looks awful too but Continental, for instance found a good compromise between the old and new.
 
AA 777
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:46 pm

AA's livery is fine...a classic to last a long time. However I wouldnt mined them looking like:


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AA 777
Matt
CRJ-700 FO
 
KKMolokai
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:13 pm

Is the flying public willing to pay a little extra per ticket to help fund a new paint scheme? I think not! AA doesn't even have the $$$ to finish the seat refurbishment/interior updates on their 757's, A600's and F100's, why in the world would they contemplate tinkering with a proven brand, especially in a time when every dollar counts.
We are the people of American Airlines. And we know why you fly.
 
KKMolokai
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:37 pm

Another thought to consider. A new paint scheme would require "re-branding" all around, from airport signage to ticket jackets. That all adds up to a hefty chunk of change, of which AA doesn't have to splurge.
We are the people of American Airlines. And we know why you fly.
 
bwc1976
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:39 pm

To me, their current livery looks just as modern on their Super 80's, 757's, 767's, and 777's today as it did on their DC-10's, 727's, and 707's 20+ years ago. They were very smart to use the typeface that it did, as it looks a lot like what many of us PC users now know as "Arial" and are used to seeing every day. Other timeless (at least from the 60's or 70's on) liveries include Southwest, Lufthansa, and Air France.
 
acidradio
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:22 pm

A paint scheme is not everything. All of us on A.Net scrutinize an airline in unimaginable ways, way beyond the scope of what many regular travelers would do. AA is fortunate to have a paint scheme that has gone this far and still does the job. All of that money spent on a new paint scheme would be better spent on passenger amenities and service, or in AA's case, trying to make a profit so they can continue to fly. After all, people fly on planes and people make it happen.

Paint schemes don't fill seats on airplanes. Customer service and value fill airplanes. Where is the value in repainting an airplane to display a new logo or style? It's not really there. The value is in delivering a quality service to passengers each and every opportunity. In the US market the average passenger has quite a lot of options. When you think about it, having a familiar (possibly old) logo or style never hurts brand recognition.
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
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ERJ135
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:09 pm

I have to disagree on one point and that is as a passenger I do care what the aircraft looks like, A fresh coat of paint looks good and gives the impression of a well maintained and cared for aircraft.
Recently I flew two flights with AA from CMH-STL-LAX with an MD-83 and a 757. I didn't know it before I boarded but both Aircraft were former TWA machines and frankly they looked like shit, having been stripped to their sock and jocks and then had a thong of a livery applied. No offence but most old birds don't look good in a thong.
No I don't want American to re-paint their aircraft, I'd be quite happy if they actually painted them. The sad thing is the current livery looks fantastic when it's new.
I'm not sure I'd go with a metallic silver like NW and Virgin but a Blue metallic top, White cheatline and a red belly could work.

I remember when the DC-3 was new!
 
Superfly
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:06 pm

Are some of you guys nuts?  Wow!

American Airlines should NEVER change there colors!



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It's timeless, classic and just plane beautiful!
Bring back the Concorde
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:50 pm

NO CHANGE NEEDED....it is classic & timeless!
 
CMK10
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:30 am

I'd like to know how AA would plan to pay for this paint, in case you people focused on a better spotting environment and snappier paint haven't noticed they don't really have that kinda money.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
aaer 777
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:52 am


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Photo © Joe Statz


A photograph speaks louder than a thousand word!  Laugh out loud
Why change perfection?
Which part of "NO" do you not understand?
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:26 am

A timeless, classic livery, with the look and feel of strength!

Thank goodness there's someone around who hasn't followed in the footsteps of US and UA, and thrown up a tacky, ugly, can't-see-it-after-dusk-or-before-dawn paint job on their airplanes.

Long live the, as my 4 year old would say, "blue bird, red A, blue A".

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
richierich
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:42 am

Well, it seems that a lot of people in here want the AA scheme to stay (I've heard no rumors that AA is planning a change).

It is my personal opinion that they should change or at least update though. I agree that AA is pretty unique but I don't like the mismatched metal and grey. It looks flawed, or as if the rudder was some sort of afterthought. Then again, as someone else pointed out, it looks worse on the A300 than most of their Boeings, and the A300 will likely be retired soon.

Again, I'd like to point out that I am in no way connected with AA or have any inside information, but I am going to go out on a limb and predict that they will change or at least update their livery and brand within the next four years. That is assuming they make it 4 years. They are the last major carrier to hang on to a color scheme (some apparently see this as a bonus), but I think it will happen soon.

I don't necessarily think changing color schemes is a good thing. I am not impressed with what DL, BA or NWA have done over the last few years. I liked each carriers mid-90s colors, although Delta's could have used a sprucing up more than a complete makeover. I just hope AA does not make a huge mistake and produce some God-awful ugly livery that looks terrible and manages to turn off their faithful.
None shall pass!!!!
 
Greg
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RE: Time To Change AA Livery

Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:59 am

Unless something has drastically changed, AA has already publicly stated they have no intention of altering their image. These comments have been made in the last year and a half. I don't know why these "American-needs-to-change-their-identity" threads keep popping up (much like the NW DC-9 replacement posts....).

While management may come and go...their Board is somewhat static. It would take their approval to persue anything other than a modest change.

Again, there is no reason to change. It's as clean and sharp looking now as it was twenty years ago. In this case, whomever said 'less is more' knew what they were talking about.

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