Starting this month, American Airlines’ aircraft approach their regularly scheduled paint refresh date. American will begin repainting them with a new, non-mica gray paint that looks nearly identical to what is soaring across the skies today, but is less expensive, lighter, more fuel efficient and better for the environment.
The repaint will update American’s current livery with a new, mica-free paint color created specifically for the airline: Silver Eagle™.
“We had an opportunity to do things differently as planes approached their scheduled repaint date,” said Jill Naden, 787 Engineer at American. “We looked at this very carefully and figured out an alternative that would be less expensive, and importantly, better for the environment. By moving to Silver Eagle, our fleet of airplanes will burn approximately one million fewer gallons of fuel per year. We estimate this alone will reduce American’s carbon emissions by 9,525 metric tons per year once the fleet is repainted.”
The mica layer adds about 62 pounds to the weight of a Boeing 737-800. American started 2021 with 282 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in the fleet, with each aircraft flying up to six trips per day. By removing the mica layer, the airline is expected to save nearly 300,000 gallons of fuel annually in this fleet type alone. In addition to the reduction in emissions resulting from removing the mica layer, American will also use fewer chemicals when painting and repairing aircraft.
American will gradually introduce the refreshed livery beginning with the 737-800 fleet. New aircraft on order are expected to be delivered to American with the updated look in the second half of 2021.