American and US Airways livery to be decided

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American Airlines' proposed new chief executive evaded direct answers to questions about the future livery painted on the merged carrier's fleet.

Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of US Airways and future chief executive of the merged airline, was asked repeatedly by reporters to comment on the "soaring spirit" livery unveiled by American Airlines on 17 January.

 Edward Russell/Flightglobal

American and US Airways tails at Dallas-Fort Worth

"We are so excited to be apart of American Airlines and the American brand, and there are a lot of decisions that are going to be made going forward," Parker said, responding finally to a series of questions on the topic.

For now, at least, the American Airlines livery featuring a grey fuselage and a red-and-white striped tail flash will remain.

Tom Horton, chairman and chief executive of American and future non-executive chairman of the merged carrier, stood by the new livery.

"Some people have observed that our new livery looks like something you might have designed if you were going to put US Air and American together," says Horton. "I think it is a great representation of the new American going forward."

At US Airways Parker has been known as a cost-conscious executive, not spending, for example, on advertising because the return did not justify the expense, and is unlikely to take on any additional costs that do not have an evident revenue benefit at the merged carrier.

American plans to have up to 73 aircraft painted in the new livery by the end of this year. It will take 59 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing in the new colour scheme and plans to repaint eight Boeing 737-800s and five Boeing 757-200s by the end of July.

The carrier unveiled its new livery to a muted public response, with most comments focused on the tail.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Hudson Crossing, said on Twitter that it looks like "the spawn of a three-way between a regional airline, a 1970s charter airline, and a third-world airline" while others said that they liked the look.