American Airlines has unveiled its new livery in the first fleet-wide change since 1968.


The changes – which also include a new company logo – bring a different look to the airline’s aircraft from the existing polished metal exteriors.


American says it had to come up with a new livery as it starts taking delivery of recently ordered new-generation aircraftthat include composite materials – materials that cannot be polished as the airline’s existing aluminum fuselages are.


Chairman and chief executive Tom Horton said: “While we complete the evaluation of whether a merger can build on American’s strengths, we remain steadfast in each step we take to renew our airline, a step we take with great respect for our name American.


“Today marks important progress in that journey as we unveil a new and updated look for the first time in more than 40 years.”


Chief commercial officer Virasb Vahidi added: “Our new logo and livery are designed to reflect the passion for progress and the soaring spirit, which is uniquely American.


“Our core colours – red, white and blue – have been updated to reflect a more vibrant and welcoming spirit.


“The new tail, with stripes flying proudly, is a bold reflection of American’s origin and name. And our new flight symbol, an updated eagle, incorporates the many icons that people have come to associate with American, including the ‘A’ and the star.”


The change comes as the carrier starts taking delivery of 550 new aircraft.