American Airlines has entered into service the first legacy US Airways aircraft painted in the AA livery.
The Airbus A319 — tail number N700UW — debuted its freshly-painted fuselage between Charlotte and New York LaGuardia on flight 2060 yesterday morning.
It took 13 days to fully makeover the aircraft. First, the existing paint was gently removed, then the aircraft was sanded and washed.
Following this “metallurgical exfoliation”, the seams were sealed, the A319 masked and 80 gallons of paint applied to the exterior.
American Airlines president Scott Kirby said: “[This] marks an important next step in our airlines’ integration and is a tangible way for customers and employees to see the result of our progress first hand.”
He added: “The integration of our airlines, including painting the rest of the US Airways fleet, will take many months as we work to deliver value through this merger for our employees, our customers and our investors.”
An enlarged American Airlines came into being in December after the completion of its merger with US Airways (see news, December 9).
AA will now add its new livery to its entire fleet of aircraft over the next few years.
A statement said: “Approximately 640 aircraft are in line to receive the makeover, with newly arriving legacy American Airlines aircraft already outfitted in the new colors and US Airways aircraft delivered in the new colors beginning this June.
“By the end of second quarter 2014 American Airlines anticipates that more than 275 mainline and regional aircraft will have been painted in the new livery.”