HOUSTON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. carrier American Airlines on Thursday unveiled a new logo and plane exterior, its first fleet- wide rebranding in more than 40 years.
The red, white and blue stripes along the side of the fuselage with an eagle soaring between double "A" are gone. Instead, the tail has red, white and blue stripes and the logo has an updated eagle.
American Airlines expects that about one-third of its fleet will sport the new look by the end of the year, with the rest to be repainted within five years.
In a video announcement on its website, American Airlines said that the new look is the next step in its journey to modernize.
"Since placing our landmark aircraft order in July of 2011, we' ve been building anticipation toward a moment in time when the outside of our aircraft reflects the progress we've made to modernize our airline on the inside," said company CEO Tom Horton.
The new logo is being introduced as the Texas-based airline, coming out of more than one year of bankruptcy protection, readies to fly its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and take delivery on hundreds of other planes in the coming years.
Many of those new planes will be lighter aircraft made of composite materials that must be painted, making the polished silver look of American Airlines no longer an option. Instead, silver mica paint was chosen to maintain the heritage, the company said.
The No. 3 U.S. air carrier by traffic is also considering whether to merge with U.S. Airways or remain on its own.
"While we complete the evaluation of whether a merger can build on American's strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take to renew our airline, a step we take with great respect for our name American," Horton noted.