Case of the missing American tail

Browse to the Oneworld alliance’s homepage and you might notice something missing.

Under the distinctive purple Oneworld globe, a line of member airline tails is prominently displayed with everyone from Air Berlin to Malaysia Airlines – who just joined on 31 January – even American. But wait, is that the iconic 1960s Massimo Vignelli tail for the US flag carrier and not their FutureBrand designed stars and stripes?

Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2013-02-04 at 3.27.12 PM.pngAmerican’s new tail

AA new tail
Edward Russell

Michael Blunt, vice-president of corporate communications at Oneworld, explains in an email to Airline Business: “American kept details of its new branding and the timing of the announcement of its new look under very tight secrecy until it was unveiled to the world late last month. The new design was only released to us at the same time as it was unveiled to the folks at American itself, and the rest of the world. By that time, all the creative materials for the addition of Malaysia Airlines to Oneworld had been completed and distributed and there was simply not enough time to update them with the American Airlines features.”

He notes that his signature already has the new logo – it does – and that “we are looking at days to update the website rather than weeks”.

Now whether or not the other Oneworld members like the new tail is another matter but, keeping with polite company, they’ll probably keep those opinions to themselves.


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