TULSA, Okla. - KRMG listeners had several questions for American Airlines after KRMG’s story about the airline’s new paint scheme.
The plane's new look, the first for American in 40 years, removes the familiar red, white and blue stripes along the side of the fuselage.
They are replaced by a new logo and "American" in large letters on the silver body. Red and blue horizontal bars are on the tail.
Listeners wanted to know why every inch of American’s planes are being painted as opposed to keeping the polished aluminum look.
KRMG took those questions to Andrea Huguely, an American Airlines spokesperson. Huguely tells KRMG that it was out of necessity. Huguely says, “We began our work to update our look and our airline almost two years ago when we placed the largest aircraft order in history. That decision included taking delivery, starting this year, of Airbus aircraft from the A320 family and Boeing 787-9 aircraft made of lighter, more efficient composite materials. In order to maintain a consistent and fresh look across our fleet, painting the aircraft was necessary.”
Another question that came up is why America is spending the money to paint or repaint all of its planes in the middle of a bankruptcy. Huguely says, “The restructuring process has allowed us the opportunity to make investments and changes in our products and services that we were unable to make before. Unveiling our new look is the latest in a series of investments we’ve made, including ordering more than 500 new aircraft, updating our technologies and tools for our people and rolling out premium amenities onboard, to enhance the customer experience. While we continue our evaluation of whether a merger could build on American’s strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take on our journey to modernize.”
Listeners also wanted to know how adding the weight of the paint to the plane would affect things like fuel mileage. Huguely says, “We don’t expect the painting of the planes to have much impact on the fuel efficiency of our fleet given the newer aircraft replacing our fleet are made from much lighter materials that offer significant fuel savings.”