American Airlines brings redesigned plane to Tulsa
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
1/22/13 at 3:26 PM
American Airlines workers and executives at the company’s Tulsa Maintenance & Engineering Center on Tuesday got a sneak peek at the company’s new aircraft livery and paint scheme when the company’s latest addition to its fleet, a Boeing 737-800, flew into Tulsa International Airport and taxied to American’s hangars.
“Today is a very exciting day as we introduce this aircraft in Tulsa,” said Bill Collins, American’s vice president of base maintenance. “The planes used to be silver. But with the new planes that are made of composites, the unpainted color would range from dark brown to black. The silver mica tint really makes it blast. In sunlight, it’s brilliant. It conveys, first and foremost, the new American.”
The new livery on the 196th 737 in American’s fleet is appropriate because for the first time in 20-plus years, American has fewer of its workhorse MD-80s — 191 — than the 737s.
The new aircraft’s lighter weight and updated engines are 35 percent more fuel efficient than the 1980s-vintage MD-80s, company officials said.
Over the next five years, American will take delivery of 200 737s and 260 Airbus S.A.S. A320s in an estimated $38 billion program to modernize its fleet.
“Our new logo and livery are designed to reflect the passion for progress and the soaring spirit, which is uniquely American,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “Our core colors — red, white and blue — have been updated to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit. The new tail, with stripes flying proudly, is a bold reflection of American’s origin and name.
“And our new flight symbol, an updated eagle, incorporates the many icons that people have come to associate with American, including the 'A' and the star.”
American, which is in bankruptcy, has its largest maintenance base in Tulsa. It employs about 7,000 people in the area.
The new exterior paint job of one of 196 737-800 airplanes that American Airlines will convert, on display during a tour stop in one of the hangers at the American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering facility Tuesday in Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
The new desing scheme on the tail can be seen as AA employes exit the plane, part of the new exterior paint job on one of 196 737-800 airlplanes that American Airlines will convert, on display during a tour stop in one of the hangers at the American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering facility in Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World