The First US Airways Plane Has Been Repainted American

The first US Airways plane (an Airbus A319) has been painted in the ‘new’ American Airlines paintjob.

Their process takes 10 takes to paint a paint, removing the existing paint, sanding, power washing, sealing, painting, and doing final touch ups. They use 80 gallons of paint on an A319.

One of the reasons for keeping the ‘new’ American paint job is that there were plenty of American planes that had already been rolled out with it — 212 total mainline and Eagle planes, with 350 to go. Repainting all planes rather than just the un-repainted American planes and the US Airways planes would have been even more expensive, and taken planes out of service for more time.

That the airline chose the cheaper option led me to wonder whether it was ‘really’ left up to an employee vote, or someone in accounting just decided how the vote came out 🙂

Although it makes good sense that the new American paintjob would have been selected, there are more legacy American Airlines employees than US Airways employees and in some sense it is ‘theirs’. Plus the alternative was the new body and old tail which looked pretty funny, even to people who don’t like the new paintjob.

Besides, the new paint has really grown on me and many others since it was first revealed.

This first US Airways plane in new paint does indicate it’s operated by US Airways, so will have to be partially repainted again once the airlines are working off of a single operating certificate. In total 300 US Airways planes are being scheduled for paint.

American’s communications folks are sharing photos of the repainting process, here’s the US Airways planes being stripped down:

And here’s what it now looks like, out of the paint shop:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Is it just the registration number that will have to be repainted down the road, or is there something else?

  2. Funny. I was just reading a post in Milepoint where AA won’t honor US Lounge passes because “we still operate as separate airlines” but yet they can paint airplanes. Silly.

  3. I prefer the US livery over the new American and the old classic American…. it’s just sharper and not so ‘in your face’ as the new livery. Sigh….

  4. @Andrew I’m not sure how it’s done on airliners, but on smaller aircraft the registration number is generally a decal.

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