American Airlines is making steady progress towards one brand by rapidly repainting its fleet of aircraft. According to Flightglobal.com, American “has repainted 169 American mainline and 104 US Airways mainline aircraft, including all of the 24 US Airways widebodies, out of the 325 and 301, respectively, that it intends to keep, it says in an employee newsletter on 16 April. Aircraft scheduled for retirement are not being repainted.”
Being the resident airline guy, I have to admit that I think aircraft paint jobs matter much more to airline employees and aviation enthusiasts than your average air traveler. That said, American’s new paint job caught its share of flack when it was introduced. Frankly, I didn’t love it when I first saw it, but it does look better in person than in pictures. Not sure I’ll ever be enthralled with the tail art, but we are where we are. From the wings forward, I think the new livery looks just fine, and I’m glad to see the airline making progress towards presenting a unified brand to air travelers. (Image courtesy of American Airlines)
Of course, there’s more to an airline than paint jobs. There’s much to be done, but so far, I have to say that the new American is getting most things right. And where there have been missteps, perhaps in catering, management has taken steps to address the situation in some way.
I know there were a few nits here and there, but I think the frequent flyer merger they just pulled off was not much short of miraculous. For me, it was flawless. Of course, the true test is yet to come. It will be far more challenging than getting the airplanes painted or power outlets installed. The reservations system merger is a big deal. But for now, color me confident that it will go OK.
-MJ, April 17, 2015