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American Airlines is Suing a Small Regional Airline Over its Iconic ‘AA’ Logo… Can You Tell the Difference?

American Airlines is Suing a Small Regional Airline Over its Iconic ‘AA’ Logo… Can You Tell the Difference?

american airlines aircraft on the tarmac with ground staff stood under wing

American Airlines is taking legal action against a small regional airline based in Califonia over the use of its iconic ‘AA’ logo because the Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier believes its much smaller peer is ‘unfairly benefiting’ from the goodwill that the American public has in the ‘AA’ logo.

Attorneys acting on behalf of American Airlines filed a lawsuit in a Dallas district court last week against Advanced Air, a small commuter and private charter airline which was founded back in 2005 but only began operating scheduled commuter services ten years later.

a screenshot of a computer
The Advanced Air website

Advanced Air uses a stylized ‘AA’ as its logo and also references the ‘AA’ mark in other aspects of its marketing, such as calling its inflight magazine ‘AAltitude Magazine’, in much the same way that American Airlines calls its frequent flyer club AAdvantage.

American Airlines, meanwhile, has used the ‘AA’ mark in some form or other since the 1930s and has federally registered the mark as ‘source indicators for travel services’ for many years.

The ‘AA’ mark was once an integral part of the American Airlines eagle logo, although the carrier ditched the ‘AA’ mark from its main logo back in 2013 following an extensive rebranding exercise which created a new ‘Flight Symbol’ logo.

Nonetheless, American Airlines says Advanced Air knows that it alone has the right to use the ‘AA’ mark and that it’s ‘no coincidence’ that Advanced Air has started to use the AA mark for its own benefit.

“Upon information and belief, Advanced Air is using “AA” to intentionally generate confusion in the marketplace, to mislead the public into believing that Advanced Air’s services are associated with or approved by American, and to free-ride on American’s long-established goodwill,” the 34-page complaint alleges.

“Advanced Air’s use of this confusing mark is causing irreparable harm to the well-established goodwill and reputation of American and its trademarks.”

American Airlines still relies on the ‘AA’ mark in many other parts of its business, including its primary website address, and the carrier’s lawyers claim this asset is of “incalculable value as symbols of American, its quality goods and services, and its goodwill.”

Advanced Air is being sued for federal trademark infringement, and if American Airlines wins the case, it wants Advanced Air to pay all the profits made as a result of the infringement, plus damages and attorneys fees.

Advanced Air has yet to respond to the complaint. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division under case reference: 4:24-cv-00134

View Comments (4)
  • Advanced Air is a mess. Anybody who has flown them through PHX and connected to an American flight knows they aren’t affiliated because they’ll likely have had to buy a new ticket from American since Advanced either cancels or is so horribly late. Nothing like common 6-7 hour delays for an hour flight….

  • I think there’s a solid argument that the logo itself is sufficiently different. The use of “AA” at the beginning of words in its marketing materials is where the small carrier went out of bounds….in my opinion.

  • The two logos don’t look similar to me. The one for Advanced Air looks like an M with some decorative lines added. I can’t imagine looking at the Advanced Air logo and thinking “American Airlines.”

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