I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit with American Airlines at JFK airport on Friday afternoon as part of the tour they’re running of their new aircraft livery and get to see it in person. My initial thoughts were relatively neutral. I’m comfortable enough with the logo but the tail turned me off a bit. In our most recent podcast episode we talked about the situation and my comment there was pretty much that it is hard to believe that anyone wants to be seen as a flag carrier these days, particularly from the USA. It just doesn’t make much sense to me in the rapidly shifting global economy.
It seems that I was correct about why they’d pick that design for the tail. Apparently American does want to be seen as the flag carrier from the USA. Here’s part of what Tim Ahern, Vice President of New York & International for the company had to say when describing the livery to the crowd at today’s event:
We believe with the name American on the front of the airplane…that we are certainly the flagship to the world for America…. [The tail] is intended to give the view of the flag flying in the air and hopefully we’ve captured that for all of America as these airplanes fly around the world.
To be fair, they executed pretty well on that plan, so I have to give them that, but I still question moving in that direction.
Putting aside that part of the design, a bit which completely baffles me, I have to say that it really looks much better in person than in the renderings I initially saw. The "ribbon" up front looks better than I expected and the colors work pretty well on the planes, I think.
But, oh, that tail…
I’ve got some more photos from the event online here, too.
Special thanks to the crew at American for being such gracious hosts, including accommodating us at the end of the event with a visit to the roof deck outside the control tower. That was awesome.
Finally, they were giving away marketing posters at the event showing a rendering of the new plane flying over some mountains. I grabbed a few, just in case some readers here might want one. Leave a comment indicating such if you do and I’ll figure out a way to give them out.