American Airlines — which currently sports the oldest livery for an airline in the United States — is considering the first major modernization of its livery since the 1930s.
One notable reason for the consideration is that the fuselage of the new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft — the first of which is scheduled to be delivered to American Airlines sometime in 2014 — is comprised of composite plastic materials that cannot be polished similarly to the aluminum exterior of other aircraft. The polished metal look is an integral part of the current livery of the fleet of aircraft of American Airlines.
There is also the question as to which costs more money overall: polishing the aircraft or painting the aircraft, which can add weight to the airplane overall.
The livery of American Airlines is iconic, in my opinion. To significantly change its livery after 80 years or so would be like changing the branding and logos of Coca-Cola, Disney and General Electric. In fact, I did not like what seemed to be the extremely subtle change implemented from what I call the real, traditional Helvetica Medium typeface used in the logotype of American Airlines to a cheaper-looking digitized version with the letters tracked further apart, similar to the one used for many years on Apple Macintosh computers.
Gray paint is probably not the solution for the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft. Would metallic paint work? Could an aluminum coating that could withstand polishing be applied to the exterior of the aircraft?
I would prefer that American Airlines keep their current livery intact. Change is good, but it is not always good. Should American Airlines change its livery? What do you think?