Friday, January 25, 2013

Merger or not, American getting new unifiorms

Whether or not a merger with US Airways pans out, American Airlines is partnering with a pair of designers to redo all of its uniforms and update their look.

American is teaming up with design team Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco of KAUFMANFRANCO to create the new uniforms for pilots, flight attendants and other airline workers.

AA flight attendant uniform
1934-1937. From
"These uniforms represent one more step toward building the new American,” said Denise Lynn, American senior vice president - people. “We’re committed to creating the best work environment for our people so that they can, in turn, deliver the best travel experience for our customers."

“We plan to mix the elegance of American’s rich fashion heritage and incredible style with today’s cutting-edge technology. It’s about creating a wardrobe inspired by our fashion runway for American’s runway,” said Kaufman, in a statement.

American said the process will take about 18 months, and will use input from workers to help design the uniforms. The effort is part of American's larger re-branding, which included the unveiling of its new logo and airplane livery last week.

So far, the new logo has received mixed reviews. The designer of American's old and iconic logo hated it, while others said it was a bold new look and some commentators compared it to a Pepsi logo. US Airways CEO Doug Parker wouldn't comment on what he thinks of the new livery during his airline's earnings conference call earlier this week.
Airline analyst Mike Boyd called the re-branding irresponsible, with the company still in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. "A completely unnecessary re-branding and re-packaging of airplanes, gates, airports, backwalls, and all the rest will cost tens – maybe hundreds – of millions. At a time when retirees aren’t sure of healthcare, employees are losing jobs, and the competition is ready to pounce, to do what Horton is doing is not only an ego trip, but completely professionally irresponsible," said Boyd, according to Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News.

In any case, investors, employees, passengers, and the media are all waiting to see what happens with the merger. AMR chief executive Tom Horton said the decision would be made in a matter of weeks a few weeks ago, and rumored decision dates have come and gone. If and when a merger is announced, and US Airways' management team takes the helm of a combined airline, we'll have to see how much of the new branding sticks.


Anonymous said...

No More shorts and flip flops?

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the new logo and look. When I fly American I always get the feeling that the plane is one that Wilbur or Orville could have flown. They are as old and stale on the outside as they are worn on the inside. A fresh look, a new start, and a new fleet from Airbus is just what they need. I try to avoid them because they look and feel "old" and not worthy of the "American" brand. This is a start towards getting me back.

Anonymous said...

Updating a LOGO is One Thing, REBRANDING an Entire Company while in Bankruptcy is Ridiculous and should NOT be Approved by the Creditors. Corporations PAY huge sums of money to have IDENTITIES such as the Iconic "AA" logo Brand and to merely THROW It Away because Some Management Bonehead wants a New Look is absolutely Ridiculous and so Very Much American Corporate mantra.....and very much like the Government with their Pork Belly Funds.