MIAMI – American Airlines (AA) is going green with a new kind of paint it will use on its aircraft, according to a company press release from January 21.

According to AA, it “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,” adding that the paint is called “Silver Eagle.”

Each eight or 10 years, aircraft are scheduled to get fresh coat of paint, as repainting improves aircraft performance as well as making flying smoother. The new mica-free paint also reduces fuel consumption per each plane.

Photo: Brando Farris/Airways

Aircraft Flying Lighter, Burning Less Fuel

The carrier’s Boeing 787 engineer Jill Naden states in the release that “by moving to Silver Eagle, our fleet of airplanes will burn approximately 1 million fewer gallons of fuel per year. We estimate this alone will reduce American’s carbon emissions by 9,525 metric tonnes per year once the fleet is repainted.”

Naden also added that the airline “looked at this very carefully and figured out an alternative that would be less expensive, and importantly, better for the environment.” Mica-based paint adds 62 pounds to the total 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,” the release said.

American Airlines will introduce the new paint initially with its Boeing 737-800s. New aircraft will be delivered to the airline with the refreshed livery in the second half of 2021.

Featured image: American Airlines N315SD Boeing 737 MAX-8. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways