Neil Patrick Harris and Julianna Margulies star in new American Airlines ads

All photos via American Airlines.

Recognized the guy on the left? How about the one on the right? All photos via American Airlines.

American Airlines this week is launching a new advertising campaign for its lucrative New York to Los Angeles flights in an attempt to remind travelers of the carrier’s glory age.

You’ll see Neil Patrick Harris and Julianna Margulies, as well as classic shots of Grace Kelly and Gregory Peck, who apparently flew American a lot back in the day.

The print ads are black-and-white, except for color shots of the new American Airlines tail design. American is proud of its brand new A321 aircraft, which it began flying last month between Los Angeles and New York. The plane has three classes — economy, business and first — and American is banking that travelers on this route will continue buying lucrative premium cabin tickets. Notably, American is the only airline flying between the cities that offers both first and business class. Delta, Virgin and United only offer two classes.

Video ads will be released soon.

“We have such a rich heritage in the transcon market,” said Fern Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing. “For some years we hadn’t really hadn’t invested in the right way. The crux of the campaign is that we want to remind people that we invented trans-continental service. Now we are completely reinventing and taking a different approach in this market.”

What do you think of the advertising campaign? Much of it was shot in L.A.

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American Airlines girds for upcoming LAX construction

An American Airlines 777-300ER parked at LAX. Photo credit: American.

An American Airlines 777-300ER parked at LAX. Photo credit: American.

Due to construction and the merger with US Airways, some changes are coming to the American Airlines operation at Los Angeles International Airport.

Here’s what we learned from an American newsletter this week to LAX employees:

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American Airlines receives its first A319

American received its first Airbus A319 aircraft on Tuesday in Germany.

American received its first Airbus A319 aircraft on Tuesday in Germany.

It probably takes a special type of aviation geek to appreciate the above photograph.

But that’s the first American Airlines Airbus A319, which was delivered on Tuesday in Hamburg, Germany. You’ll see in this picture it’s still wearing its European registration, D-AVYQ.

American has not had an Airbus plane in its fleet since it retired its widebody A300s in 2009. Now, the airline has about 260 Airbus planes on order, with a mixture of A319s, A320s and A321s.

We won’t see the A319s in Los Angeles at first. But starting in 2014, American plans to put the new A321s on the Los Angeles to New York JFK route.

Those will be specially configured planes with three classes of service – first, business and economy. Early renderings (such as the one depicted in the first half of the video below) suggest it will be an impressive product.

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