Read Doug Parker’s note to employees about the new American paint job

You have to credit the folks at American Airlines. They have sure received a lot of free publicity regarding a simple question: How the airline paints its airplanes.

American announced today it would keep the paint job it introduced in January 2013, and I featured it earlier today on the blog. But now we have American CEO Doug Parker’s note to employees.

The most interesting part about Parker’s note is how long it takes to paint planes.

  • Widebody 13-17 days
  • Narrowbody 8-11 days
  • Express 7-9 days

Want to see his entire letter? Keep reading this post.

Dear Fellow Employees,

The votes are in. After three weeks, much conversation and more than 60,000 employees voting, we now have an answer to the question about what will be painted on the tails of our aircraft. It was very close but the majority has spoken and the new flag tail will proudly represent American Airlines – and all of us – for years to come.

As I said early in this process, I was indifferent as to which option we chose, I just wanted you to be able to choose. Now that the votes are in, I’m really pleased to have a firm decision we can all embrace. This is the airplane we will fly as we restore American to the greatest airline in the world – and that is exciting.

It is particularly exciting to see how engaged our team was in this decision. Consistent with our imperative to Engage Our Employees, we took the unprecedented step of asking our team members to choose our livery, and a phenomenal 60 percent of you participated. We of course can’t vote on every decision at the airline, but we do want input from all of you on issues that are important to your work lives. This turnout proves what we already knew: we have team members who care a lot about American Airlines and its future. That is a great asset and we look forward to hearing and learning more from you all as we move forward.

For those of you who really wanted to bring back the AA, know that it will still be with us. First, it will take us many months to paint the 580 US Airways aircraft and those aircraft will be the priority which means the remaining classic Silverbirds will still be flying for some time. Also, as previously announced, we intend to have heritage aircraft in our fleet going forward, so the AA livery will remain in our system even after all of the fleet has been painted.

What’s really great is that this livery now represents the people of American Airlines. We voted for it and it is ours. I will now forever look at this livery with a great sense of pride and know that you will too.

Thanks for taking the time to give us your input. This was a small but important step in bringing us together and beginning to move forward. Now let’s get working together on the difficult task ahead – restoring American to the greatest airline in the world.

The votes are in!
60,418 total votes
31,355 in favor of flag tail
29,063 in favor of AA tail

More than 1,100 total AA and US aircraft to be painted:
300 US mainline
280 US Airways Express
539 American

*Does not include retiring aircraft or new deliveries.

Watching paint dry? Here’s how long it will take:
Widebody 13-17 days
Narrowbody 8-11 days
Express 7-9 days

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