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.
Horton said AMR did not tell US Airways in advance about the new livery — "That wouldn't have been appropriate; they're a competitor" — but he gave US Airways Group Inc. CEO Doug Parker a courtesy heads-up on Wednesday night.
US Airways praised the "compelling result" of the redesign, as spokesman Ed Stewart put it.
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.