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AA employees vote on tail design

AA employees vote on tail design
3 Jan 2014

American Airlines employees have voted in favour of a Stars and Stripes-inspired livery for the tails of the company's aircraft. 

They were given a choice by chief executive Doug Parker between the flag-style design first introduced a year ago and the classic 'AA' badge with an eagle emblem featured on the company's planes since the 1960s. 

The move is part of a restructuring process that started when American merged with US Airways last month to form the world's biggest airline. 

A total of 60,000 of the carrier's 100,000 employees voted in the survey, with a narrow majority of 52% choosing the red, white and blue striped design. 

More than 1,100 American, US Airways and US Airways Express planes will now be repainted to bear the winning tail colours, which are already being painted onto all new jets.

'As we build our new company, we want all of our employees to have a voice in who we are as an airline, and that starts with what we look like,' Mr Parker wrote in last month's company newsletter, seen by the Dallas News. 

'I honestly do not care,' he added. 'I think both look fantastic.'

The Dallas News' own readers' poll almost exactly matched the one conducted by American, with 51.5% voting in favour of the newer design. 

Although there isn't the data to show how influential on customer choices a carrier's livery is, it's certainly something airlines put a lot of effort into.

One of the most famous instances of changing the tailfin design was initiated by British Airways in 1997, when the company dropped the Union flag in favour of 'ethnic' designs, including Chinese calligraphy, African art and geometric patterns.

The £60m repainting job - which was initiated by the then boss Bob Ayling because he saw the Union flag as 'remote and aloof' - proved hugely controversial and was later reversed in 2001 by the airline's new chief executive Rod Eddington. 

Only time will tell how long the new American design lasts. ADNFCR-408-ID-801678505-ADNFCR

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