This afternoon, American Airlines unveiled photos of the latest heritage livery to join the fleet. Wearing one of the final liveries before TWA ceased operations in December, 2001, the Boeing 737-800 joins the recently unveiled RenoAir jet, as well as several heritage liveries from airlines that formed what we knew as US Airways.
Trans World Airlines
In the early 1930s, two airlines came together to form what was called Transcontinental & Western Air (T&WA). Primarily operating air mail routes, the combined flew on several routes across the country with Ford Tri Motors and later with the DC-1. Four years later, President Roosevelt canceled airmail contracts, which led to the dissolution of the T&WA merger. It was at that point the TWA name rose out out the rubble.
Fast forward to April, 2001, American Airlines acquired all of TWAs assets. Plagued by large amounts of debt, two prior bankruptcies, several hijackings and bombings, TWA declared bankruptcy for third and final time in April 2001. The final flight was flown on December 1, 2001, from Kansas City to St. Louis. Both cities were major components of TWAs history.
Doug Parker, AA Chairman & CEO
Formerly the Chairman & CEO of US Airways, Doug Parker hinted at the creation of three new heritage liveries that would be based off the airlines that had formed what currently operates as American Airlines. In a December, 2013, employee newsletter, Parker said the following:
Even as we look to the future, we want to embrace our history because we are proud of it. One way we will do that is through heritage liveries. US Airways has several aircraft in predecessor company liveries today, such as the PSA livery (complete with smile) shown above. We will continue that tradition at American, including introducing a TWA aircraft in the future and keeping a US Airways livery aircraft. That also means we willkeep a heritage American livery in the fleet.
As we move forward, we will remember to embrace out past. We plan to paint some “heritage” aircraft — modern planes painted with logos from the past from airlines that have formed today’s American. Already, we are flying jets with paint schemes from PSA, Piedmont, America West and Allegheny, and in the future we plan to introduce TWA, Reno Air and AirCal aircraft, while keeping one plane in the US Airways livery.
One week ago, American unveiled the RenoAir livery on a Boeing 737-800 (N916NN/3KB)
Heritage is a big part of the combined American Airlines, as noted several times by Doug Parker and American VP for Global Marketing, Fernand Fernandez.
“Heritage is extremely important to us,” Fernandez said. “We are committed to fact that these carriers and employees helped build American to be what it is today.”
Other Heritage Jets Flying for American
As previously mentioned, there are four heritage jets flying with the airlines that made up US Airways. Additionally, American plans to keep one US Airways aircraft with the legacy US colors. You can see live flight status for each aircraft by clicking the registry numbers below.
America West – N838AW
Allegheny – N745VJ
Piedmont – N744P
PSA – N742PS
US Airways – N578UW