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American Airlines unveils its new logo and look

American Airlines showed off the first plane bearing a new logo and paint job at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday.
By DAVID KOENIG Published: January 18, 2013

That means American was thinking of a makeover even before it filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011. Horton said bankruptcy creditors were kept informed about the redesign. The desire to cut costs didn't derail the effort.

“We're very much coming to the end of the restructuring, and really all the cost-reduction initiatives have been bolted down,” Horton said. “We really are at that moment now to turn the page and set the course for a new American.”

Under pressure from creditors, AMR is studying whether to embrace a merger with US Airways or remain on its own. A decision is expected soon, and Horton said the redesign doesn't tilt the company toward either outcome.

The pilots' opinion

The pilots' union at American, which has long fought with AMR and wants company management replaced, was less enthusiastic.

“A new paint job is fine but it does not fix American's network deficiencies and toxic culture,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. His and other unions at American support a merger that would put US Airways executives in charge of the combined airline.