While far from inevitable, the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines seems to have garnered support from virtually everyone who matters but the management of bankrupt AA
US Airways Group
US Airways announced last month that it finished installing first-class sections on 110 US Airways Express Embraer E170/175s and Bombardier CRJ700/900s. With the addition of first-class sections on regional partners PSA, Mesa Air Group and Republic Airways, US Airways now offers same-class service to more than 85 destinations. The company began installing the two-by-one seating configurations on its Express aircraft in September and completed all aircraft in mid-December.
US Airways announced last month it would add first-class seating and service on 110 US Airways Express regional jets operated by Republic Airways, Mesa Air Group and PSA. Plans call for the airline to install first-class seating on Embraer E170s and E175s, along with Bombardier CRJ700s and CRJ900s, beginning in October with the E175 fleet. It expects to finish outfitting the three remaining types by the end of January.
Despite United Airlines’ apparent decision to abandon its attempt to buy US Airways for $4.3 billion, the airlines agreed to submit to the Justice Department a merger proposal for full review in compliance with a 21-day review period requirement, prompting applause from DC Air CEO Robert Johnson, who pledged to locate his airline’s headquarters in Washington if the merger survives Justice Department scrutiny.
Morrisville, N.C.-based Midway Airlines’ plans to emerge from oblivion as a US Airways Express carrier appear to be derailed once again until at least January, while management scrambles to secure the financing needed for its proposed fleet of Bombardier CRJs. The bankrupt airline, grounded since mid-July, hoped to resume operations in October to provide feed for US Airways. The two airlines have now set a new target date of January 15.
After months of heated debate over future regional jet jobs at US Airways, the pilots of wholly owned subsidiaries Piedmont and Allegheny Airlines ratified new concessionary labor agreements with their bankrupt employers, bringing the Arlington, Va.-based airline a step closer to meeting the conditions of a $900 million federal loan guarantee.
US Airways’ decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month officially placed the courts at the center of a restructuring exercise in which the development of the airline’s regional network has emerged as perhaps the most crucial component.
US Airways’ campaign to reverse its course toward financial ruin began exactly where new CEO David Siegel promised last month, as the company confirmed its intention to proceed with a series of initiatives aimed at developing its competitive position in the regional airline segment. Perhaps most significantly, it confirmed its plans to reactivate the operations of its idle Potomac Air subsidiary under the name MidAtlantic Airways.
US Airways has named Keith Houk as the president and CEO of the combined Allegheny/Piedmont airlines following the retirement of Piedmont president and CEO John Leonard on March 31. The appointment brings Houk to Piedmont’s Salisbury, Md.
Potomac Air, the wholly owned US Airways Express carrier established in January as part of an asset divestiture plan for the failed merger agreement with United Airlines, ceased operations on October 6. The demise of the Washington-based subsidiary came as US Airways’ reduced capacity throughout its wholly owned Express system since September 11, a move that resulted in the furlough of 770 employees, including 170 at Potomac Air.
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