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US Airways
IATA
US
ICAO
AWE
Callsign
CACTUS
Founded 1979 (as USAir) (history dates back to 1939 as All American Aviation in Pittsburgh, PA)
Hubs
Focus cities
Frequent flyer program Dividend Miles
Member lounge US Airways Club
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries Piedmont Airlines
PSA Airlines
Fleet size 343 (+104 orders)
Destinations 141
Company slogan Fly With US
Parent company US Airways Group
Headquarters Tempe, Arizona,
United States
Key people Scott Kirby (President)
Doug Parker (CEO)
Robert Isom (COO)
Derek Kerr (CFO)
Website www.usairways.com

US Airways, Inc., an operating unit of US Airways Group, is the fifth largest airline in the United States.

A member of the Star Alliance, the airline has a fleet of 353 mainline jet aircraft and 319 regional jet and turbo-prop aircraft connecting 200 destinations in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe and the Middle East.

As of December 2008, US Airways, based in Tempe, Arizona, employs 33,765 people worldwide and operates 3,130 daily flights (1,312 US Airways Mainline, 1,818 US Airways Express as of December 2008).

The airline was acquired by America West Airlines and its investing partners in 2005, with the new airline retaining the US Airways name.

US Airways operates hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and maintains focus city operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The airline operates the US Airways Shuttle, a US Airways brand which provides hourly service between Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.. Regional airline service is branded as US Airways Express, operated by contract and subsidiary airline companies.

Contents

History

Heritage

US Airways traces its history to All American Aviation Company, a company founded by du Pont family brothers Richard C. du Pont, Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr. and CEO Steven Gardner. Hubbed in Pittsburgh, the airline served the Ohio River valley in 1939. In 1949, the company was renamed All American Airways as it switched from airmail to passenger service. The company was again renamed to Allegheny Airlines in 1953.[1]

Allegheny expanded progressively, introducing the Douglas DC-9 in 1966 and absorbing Lake Central Airlines in 1968 and Mohawk Airlines in 1972 to become one of the largest carriers in the northeastern United States and sixth largest airline in the world as measured by passenger boardings.[2]

But with expansion came growing pains: by the 1970s Allegheny Airlines had earned the nickname "Agony Air" due to customer dissatisfaction with the carrier's service.[3]

A US Airways Airbus A330-300 takes off from Manchester Airport, England

Allegheny's agreement with Henson Airlines, the forerunner to today's US Airways Express carrier Piedmont Airlines, to provide service under the Allegheny Commuter banner, is generally regarded as the industry's first code-share agreement,[citation needed] a type of service now offered throughout the industry.[citation needed]

1970s: Deregulation and rebranding

Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979 following the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act the previous year, which enabled the airline to expand its route network into the southeastern United States. In the early 1980s, its routes in the Northeast were fed by Ransome Airlines, among others. Later, USAir acquired San Diego-based PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) and Winston-Salem, NC-based Piedmont Airlines in 1987 and 1988.

Brown metal and glass building, curved at the center and angled at the sides/
Park Four, former headquarters in Crystal City, Arlington County.

At that time, the airline consolidated its headquarters at Washington National Airport into a new building at Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia, adjacent to National Airport. Maintenance and operations remained based at its Pittsburgh International Airport hub.[citation needed]

USAir was a launch customer for the Boeing 737-300, as the airline needed an aircraft with greater capacity to serve its rapidly growing Florida markets. USAir was the world's largest operator of DC-9 aircraft at the time and approached McDonnell Douglas to negotiate a new airplane design. However, in the late 1970s, the McDonnell Douglas' proposed successor to the DC-9-50 did not suit USAir's requirements. After the negotiations with McDonnell Douglas broke down, Boeing came forward with a proposed variant of the 737. USAir selected the new 737 aircraft, and the company worked closely with Boeing during its development, taking delivery of the first plane on November 28, 1984.

1980s: Mergers and expansion

USAir expanded dramatically in 1987, when it purchased San Diego-based Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) and Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Piedmont Airlines. The mergers gave the airline hubs in Baltimore, Charlotte, Syracuse, and Dayton, as well as prized routes to the West Coast and Piedmont's transatlantic routes to London Gatwick Airport. While Dayton was a hub for USAir for several years following the Piedmont merger, only Baltimore and Charlotte remained hubs later on. When the Piedmont acquisition was completed in 1989, it was the largest merger in airline history, and USAir became one of the world's largest airlines, operating more than 5,000 flights daily.

1990s: rebranding, fleet modernization, and failed sell-off

In the early 1990s, USAir expanded its service to Europe with flights to London, Paris and Frankfurt from its four primary hubs. The company formed partnerships, marketing the Trump Shuttle as the "USAir Shuttle" and accepted a large investment from British Airways that started one of the first transatlantic airline alliances. During this period several 767 aircraft were painted in the British Airways livery, but operated by USAir.[4][5] It also invested in a new terminal at its hub at Pittsburgh.[citation needed]

In 1996, the alliance between USAir and British Airways ended in a court battle, once British Airways announced its intentions to partner with American Airlines. Subsequently USAir rebranded itself to US Airways. That same year, the airline also introduced a single-class subsidiary service known as MetroJet, which competed with low-cost carriers expanding into the East, in particular Southwest Airlines.[citation needed]

On November 6, 1996, just following the re-branding to US Airways, the airline placed an order for up to 400 Airbus A320-series narrow body aircraft, with 120 firm orders at the time of the order signing. At the time, the order was regarded as the largest bulk aircraft request in history. In 1998, the airline followed with an order for up to 30 Airbus A330-series or A340-series wide-body aircraft, with an initial firm order for seven of the A330-300 airliners. These orders enabled US Airways to replace its older aircraft with newer, more efficient aircraft, and it helped with the re-branding and repositioning efforts of US Airways.[citation needed]

In 1997, US Airways bought the remains of Trump Shuttle. US Airways also steadily expanded its flights to Europe through the end of the decade. Although the airline returned to profitability in the mid-1990s, its route network's concentration in the U.S. Northeast and high operating costs prompted calls for the company to merge with another airline.[citation needed]

United/ US Airways - The first failed attempt to merge

On May 24, 2000 US Airways announced plans to be acquired for $4.3 billion by UAL Corp., the parent company of United Airlines, the world's largest commercial carrier at the time. The complex deal drew immediate objections from labor unions, consumer advocates and antitrust regulators. Negotiations stalled; with both airlines losing money, and the deal all but certain to be blocked by the federal government, UAL withdrew its purchase offer on July 27, 2001, paying US Airways a $50 million penalty for withdrawing from the deal.

2001-2004: September 11th and financial woes

Beginning in 2000, US Airways started retiring aircraft in an attempt to simplify its fleet to lower costs, replacing many of its older planes with the new A320-family aircraft.

As the largest carrier at Washington-Reagan, US Airways was disproportionately affected by that airport's extended closure following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The resulting financial disaster precipitated the closure of the airline's MetroJet network, which led to the de-hubbing of the subsidiary's primary operating base at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the furloughing of thousands of employees. The airline entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 11, 2002, but received a government-guaranteed loan through the Air Transportation Stabilization Board and was able to exit bankruptcy in 2003[6] after a relatively short period. The airline made major cost reductions during its bankruptcy, but it still encountered higher-than-average per-seat-mile costs. On October 19, 2005, the airline repaid the government-guaranteed loan by refinancing the debt with other lenders.[citation needed]

In early 2003, US Airways management liquidated the pensions of its 6,000 pilots by releasing their pensions into the federal pension program Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The company was one of the first major airlines to eliminate pilots' pensions in order to cut costs.[citation needed]

Following a trial run of selling in-flight food in 2003, US Airways discontinued free meal service on domestic flights later that year.[citation needed]

2003-2004: Pittsburgh hub conflict

In late 2003-early 2004, US Airways lobbied for lower operating fees at Pittsburgh International Airport, citing its economies of scale as the primary carrier and largest tenant at the airport. US Airways attempted to leverage its adverse cash position and "red ink" in the years following 9/11 to negotiate better financial terms with the airport. The Allegheny County Airport Authority rejected US Airways' demands for reduced landing fees and lower lease payments, in part due to antitrust and FAA regulations that required the airport operator to extend the same financial terms to all carriers if it accepted US Airways' demands. US Airways threatened to move traffic to rival hubs in Philadelphia and Charlotte, and the airline made good on its threat in November 2004, reducing its flights at Pittsburgh International Airport from primary-hub to secondary-hub status. The airline, led by former ExpressJet Airlines CEO David N. Siegel, continued to demote Pittsburgh International Airport in subsequent years until it became only a focus city airport for the company.[7] As of 2009, Pittsburgh is simply considered a US Airways destination with an average of 50 departures a day, compared to 2001 when it was a hub with 500+ flights a day with service across the United States and to Europe.[citation needed]

2004-2005

Several US Airways aircraft at Phoenix Sky Harbor Concourse A-Terminal 4. (2008)

In August 2004, US Airways attempted to build a Latin American gateway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, announcing service to 10 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The attempt was largely unsuccessful and short-lived, in part due to Fort Lauderdale’s close proximity to American Airlines’ hub at Miami International Airport and its extensive Latin American network. US Airways also began a process of de-emphasizing its hub-and-spoke system to capitalize on direct flights between major eastern airports such as Washington-Reagan, New York-LaGuardia, and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood. This emphasis on more direct flights has been undertaken by many airlines of late, as an attempt to capitalize on highest-profit routes, and is a system modeled after lower-cost Southwest Airlines' operations, a system (ironically) that most U.S. airlines had used until the mid-1980s.

The airline became the 15th member of the Star Alliance on May 4, 2004.

Fuel costs and deadlocked negotiations with organized labor (chiefly the Air Line Pilots Association, that was traditionally the first group to come to a concessionary agreement) forced US Airways into a second round of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings on September 12, 2004. Widespread employee discontent and a high volume of employee sick calls were blamed by the airline for a staff shortage around the 2004 Christmas holiday, a public relations disaster which led to speculation that the airline could be liquidated; the USDOT found that the problems were caused primarily by poor airline management.

US Airways/America West Airlines merger

Even before the second bankruptcy filing of 2004, one of the alternatives US Airways Group explored was a possible merger with America West, as the two airlines had complementary networks and similar labor costs. The parties held preliminary discussions and conducted due diligence from February through July 2004. Ultimately, these talks ended due to issues related to labor, pension, and benefit costs.[citation needed]

By December 2004, US Airways had cut labor costs significantly. Its investment adviser, the Seabury Group, suggested putting the airline up for sale. The following month, US Airways Group and America West Holdings resumed their discussions. On May 19, 2005, both airlines officially announced the merger deal, structured as a reverse takeover. Financing for the deal was supplied by outside investors including Airbus S.A.S., an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, the European aerospace consortium. Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation, operator of numerous US Airways Express flights, and ACE Aviation Holdings, the parent company of Air Canada, also bought shares in the combined airline. The merged airline retained the US Airways name to emphasize its national scope, as well as to capitalize on US Airways' worldwide recognition, Dividend Miles frequent flyer program, and Star Alliance membership.[8] On September 13, 2005, America West shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement, and three days later the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia approved US Airways' emergence from bankruptcy, allowing the merger to close on September 27.[citation needed]

Since the merger, US Airways has been headquartered at the former America West corporate offices in Tempe, Arizona, and America West executives and board members are largely in control of the merged company. The company's aircraft have used the US Airways operating certificate since September 2007, but retained America West's airline call sign "CACTUS".[citation needed]

Post 2005 merger

During 2006 the airline began consolidating its operations under the US Airways brand; Operations were not fully integrated until October 2008, when government approval allowing the airlines to operate under a single operating certificate.[citation needed]

In January 2006, the airline began consolidating its operations under the US Airways brand, and all America West flights became branded as US Airways flights.[citation needed]

On February 9, 2006, US Airways announced that it would become the first American "legacy" carrier to add the Embraer 190 to its mainline fleet.[citation needed]

In May 2006, the US Airways and America West web sites were merged. The new US Airways web site unites the two brands using graphics and styles reflective of the airline's new livery and services.[citation needed]

In July 2006, US Airways and America West ordered 20 new Airbus A350 aircraft.[9] The end of 2006 saw US Airways making a bid for competitor Delta Air Lines, which opposed this bid and hostiled takeover by US Airways. The final bid was valued at $10 billion but was withdrawn on January 31, 2007, since US Airways failed to secure backing from Delta's creditors. The airline has stated that it will no longer pursue a possible takeover of Delta.[10]

Most pre-merger US Airways aircraft were equipped with Verizon Airfone in every row of seats. Since Verizon ended this service, the airline has deactivated the service and as of 2007, has removed the phones or has covered them in all aircraft.

Michael Miller, a member of The Velocity Group, an airline consulting firm, said that he approves of Parker's handling of the merger.[11]

During the night of March 4, 2007, the US Airways and America West computer reservation systems merged. US Airways, which previously used the Sabre airline computer system, switched to the new QIK system, an overlay for the Shares system, which is based on the Amadeus computer reservations system, that had been used by America West. A few of the features from the Sabre system were incorporated into the new joint system, with the most prominent being the continued utilization of the Sabre ramp partition "DECS" for all computer functions related to weight and balance, aircraft loading and technical flight tracking within the company. Former America West employees were fully trained and migrated to the old East system on September 25, 2007.[citation needed]

America West Airlines completely merged into the US Airways certificate on September 25, 2007, which formally ended the America West brand. Former America West employees (including pilots, fleet service personnel, flight attendants and mechanics) remain on their original America West union contracts and have not completely combined work forces with their pre-merger US Airways counterparts. Until October, 2008, Former America West aircraft flew with their respective crews and used the call sign "CACTUS", while the pre-merger US Airways crews primarily flew with their respective aircraft and used the call sign "US AIR". In October, 2008, the company began operating under a single operating certificate (that of the former US Airways.) This required operation under a single call sign, and that of America West ("cactus") was the chosen survivor. In addition, flights operated using former America West aircraft and crews are numbered 1-699, whereas flights operated by pre-merger US Airways aircraft and crews are numbered 700-1999. (Flights numbered 2000-2199 are shuttle services, and those 2200 and higher are operated by express subsidiaries.)[citation needed] Aircraft operated by pre-merger US Airways crews or former America West crews flew under two different United States Department of Transportation operating certificates until September 25, 2007. However, until pilot union groups from both sides successfully negotiate a single contract, each group of pilots will fly only on its pre-merger airlines' aircraft and the flights will be marked accordingly.[citation needed]

Now that the computer systems are merged, former America West-operated flights are marketed as though America West was a wholly owned carrier. This marketing is common practice for airlines that have code-share agreements with other airlines operating aircraft for feeder or regional routes, and although the practice is uncommon for major airlines, it greatly simplifies the process for passengers connecting between historically US Airways-operated flights and former America West-operated flights.[citation needed]

In summer 2007, US Airways began upgrading its in-flight services, from food and entertainment to the training of flight attendants. The airline was planning to test-market a new seat back entertainment system in early 2008, however the 2008 fuel crisis has ended those plans. As a further result of the skyrocketing fuel costs, the airline is now rolling back the planned summer 2007 service upgrades as well as ending its existing in-flight entertainment on all domestic routes.[12]

2007

A Consumer Reports survey of 23,000 readers in June 2007 ranked US Airways as the worst airline for customer satisfaction. The survey was conducted before the airline's March 2007 service disruptions. A follow-up survey polling a smaller sample size, conducted in April 2007, found that US Airways remained in last place, with its score dropping an additional 10 points.[13] Also in 2007, the Today/Zagat Airline Survey rated US Airways as the worst airline overall in the United States, ranking it 10/30 for comfort, 5/30 for food, 10/30 for service, and 15/30 for its online reservations system.[14] On August 1, 2008, US Airways ceased providing its passengers with free drinks, including water. Passengers were required to purchase bottled water or soda for $2 US, or $1 US for coffee and tea. However, the Shuttle flights between LGA, DCA, and BOS continued to offer free beverages.[15] As of March 1, 2009, US Airways began offering free nonalcoholic beverage service again.

US Airways ranked last out of 20 domestic airline carriers for systemwide on-time performance in March, April and May 2007, according to US Department of Transportation figures.[16][17][18] According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics June 2008 report (using data from May 2008), US Airways ranked 7th for percentage of on-time arrivals.

US Airways is the leader in service complaints with 4.4 complaints per 100,000 customers[19]. US Airways rate of customer complaints is 7.5-times the rate of JetBlue (0.59 complaints per 100,000 customers) and 11-times the rate of Southwest (0.4 complaints per 100,000 customers)[19]. US Airways has a very poor record of addressing customer complaints, answering only 50% of the telephone calls to its customer service department[20].

US Airways east pilots took steps to relinquish their ALPA membership and form their own in-house union.[21] Pre-merger US Airways "East" pilots were dissatisfied with the results of binding arbitration when the arbitrator's ruling placed all active former America West pilots, including their most junior pilot, who had been hired only three months previous to the merger, ahead of furloughed US Airways pilots with up to seventeen years of service. The former US Airways pilots petitioned the National Mediation Board to conduct a vote to determine whether to replace their union. East pilots (3,200) outnumbered west pilots (1,800) and the proposed union's president stated that the union has a sufficient number of requests to call a vote according to National Mediation Board regulations.[22] The new union would be called the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA). On April 17, 2008, USAPA was voted in as the sole bargaining agent for the pilots of US Airways, East and West.

As of September 2007, US Airways continued to downgrade Pittsburgh International Airport's status from 500 flights a day (with 12,000 employees) in 2001 to just 68 flights a day (with only 1,800 employees). CEO Doug Parker stated its frustration with PIT being an unprofitable airport and that more cuts may be on the way. This represents a further deterioration of a strained relationship with Allegheny County, with which the airline shares significant historical ties.[23] US Airways Group Inc. said October 3, 2007 it would cut mainline flights at Pittsburgh International Airport to 22 a day from 31 and reduce regional flights to 46 a day from 77, beginning January 6, 2008, essentially reducing the airport to a destination spoke in its network.[24] Pittsburgh is no longer a focus city for the airline as of its most recent annual report and January 2008 flight schedule reductions. US Airways did however select Pittsburgh for the site of its new flight operations center, beating out proposals from Charlotte and Phoenix. It opened ahead of schedule in November 2008 and is home to approximately 600 employees. It serves as the nerve center for all of US Airways' nearly 1,400 daily mainline flights.

On September 25, 2007 US Airways was awarded a route by the DOT to serve Beijing from Charlotte via Philadelphia[25] This marks the first direct route to China from Philadelphia, scheduled to begin in March 2009. US Airways has threatened to withdraw the proposed route, however, if Philadelphia International Airport allows Delta Air Lines to enter Terminal A East.[26] They withdrew the rights to the PHL-PEK route for a different reason (not due to Delta enter Terminal A), which was explained by Parker saying on October 28, 2009: "As we evaluated our international routes in Philadelphia, we made the necessary decisions to pull down capacity that simply isn't profitable in today's economic environment. However, we remain firmly committed to exploring additional opportunities as the economy slowly recovers, including reevaluating our proposed China service in the future."[27] They might retain the option for reapply in the future.[28]

On September 26, 2007 US Airways received Single FAA certification.[29]

On October 29, 2007, US Airways announced it will apply for daily nonstop service between Charlotte and Bogotá, Colombia when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) begins selecting carriers for 21 new weekly flights to the South American nation.[30] The carrier has since lost this bid.

On November 11, 2007, US Airways announced nonstop service between Philadelphia and London's Heathrow Airport.

2008

On April 25, 2008, it was reported that US Airways was in talks to merge its operations with either American Airlines or United Airlines, partially as a response to the recent Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines merger.[31] Then, on April 28, 2008, reports stated that US Airways would announce its intent to merge with United within two weeks.[32] At the end of May 2008, the airline announced that merger talks were formally ended.[33] However, it is anticipated that a prospective United-US Airways merger may re-emerge if the Delta Air Lines-Northwest Airlines merger succeeds, but as of February 2010 no such prospective merger has re-emerged since the Delta-Northwest merger.

On May 20, 2008, according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index by the University of Michigan, US Airways ranked last in customer satisfaction among the major airlines (http://www.eturbonews.com/2588/us-airways-bottom-airline-customer-satisfacti).

On June 6, 2008, US Airways announced that it cannot furlough aging 737 Classic aircraft (as United and Continental have announced) due to minimum fleet size requirements imposed on it by labor unions.[34]

US Airways was the number one ontime airline in 2008 among the big six hub and spoke carriers[citation needed] and second for the year 2009 behind United Airlines.[citation needed]

New Flight Operations Center

Pittsburgh International Airport won a three way competition between Phoenix and Charlotte for the right to continue as the 600 employee strong Global Flight Operations center. Opening in November 2008, U.S. Airways invested more than $25 million into a state-of-the-art 72,000 square foot facility. It replaced a smaller 11 year old (pre-merger) operations center closer to downtown Pittsburgh. The opening and long-term investment ensures that Pittsburgh continues to be the operational hub of the U.S. Airways network. [5]

2009

Flight1549CrashAndRescue.ogg
Coast Guard video (8:07 long) of the crash and rescue; splashdown is at 3:31:02 pm

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 from New York City's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina ditched into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff. It is believed that "multiple bird hits" from a flock of Canada Geese caused both engines to lose power.[citation needed] All 150 passengers and 5 crew members (2 pilots and 3 flight attendants) survived with only minor injuries. New York's Governor Paterson called it "the miracle on the Hudson."[35] President George W. Bush said he was "inspired by the skill and heroism of the flight crew," and he also praised the emergency responders and volunteers.[citation needed]

US Airways received its first Airbus A330-200 in June 2009.

In mid-2009 it was reported that US Airways, along with American Airlines, United Airlines was placed under credit watch. Experts say several factors, including capital and revenue, played a role in the airline's addition to the list[36][37].On October 2, US Airways Reported that it had a buyer for 10 of its 25 Embraer 190 Aircraft. The remaining 15 aircraft are scheduled to be redeployed to Boston where they will operate Boston to Philadelphia and the Boston to New York LaGuardia leg of the US Airways Shuttle service.

2010

US Airways closed its focus cities at New York LaGuardia, Las Vegas, and Boston. Many routes were cut at Las Vegas and LaGuardia. So far, no routes have been cut at Boston.

Slogans

USAir– "Fly the USA on USAir"

USAir (late 80s)– "USAir is Your Choice"

PSA and USAir (late 80s)– "Now our smile is even wider."

USAir (early 90s)– "USAir Begins With You"

USAir (mid 90s)– "Fly the Flag With USAir"

US Airways (early 2000s)– "Where I Fly the Flag"

US Airways (post 9/11)– "Get On Board"

US Airways (first bankruptcy) "Together We Fly"

US Airways (post-first bankruptcy)– "Clear Skies Ahead"

US Airways (Post Merger)– "Fly with US"

Destinations

A US Airways Airbus A319 aircraft on final approach for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.

US Airways operates 3,130 flights a day to 200 destinations in 30 countries from its hubs in Phoenix, Charlotte and Philadelphia.

US Airways' routes are concentrated along the East Coast of the United States, Southwestern United States and the Caribbean, with a number of routes serving Europe and primary destinations along the U.S. West Coast. The airline's western U.S. presence has increased dramatically following the merger with America West. Codesharing with United Airlines has helped US Airways by enabling the airline to offer its customers service throughout the Midwest, Great Plains and Rocky Mountains states. Services to South America, Asia and Australia also are offered via the United Airlines codeshare. Likewise, United passengers benefit from increased access via US Airways to the U.S. East Coast, Europe and the Caribbean. US Airways Express carriers operate a large number of domestic routes, primarily into US Airways' hubs and focus cities, but with some exceptions, particularly small markets where the regional express carriers operate service under the EAS program, as well as some point-to-point commuter routes in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions and south through the Carolinas. In February 2007, the airline announced that its official operations center would be located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On November 11, 2007, US Airways announced nonstop service between Philadelphia and London Heathrow Airport, its first service to the airport. The airline will retain its existing nonstop service between Charlotte and London Gatwick Airport.

Also in 2007, the airline applied for flights to Bogotá, Colombia (proposed to start in 2008 from Charlotte), however its application was denied by the US Department of Transportation after the agency awarded Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and Spirit Airlines the routes from Delta's New York-JFK hub, JetBlue from Orlando, and Spirit from Fort Lauderdale.

As of 2008, US Airways and other airlines have struggled with the price of fuel. Despite that, US Airways CEO Doug Parker said "It is our international gateway. We'd like to expand that". The airline has added three international flights during the summer of 2009, including to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia.[38] US Airways has also started year-round service between Charlotte and Rio de Janeiro. On June 1st 2010, US Airways will inaugurate its new service to Anchorage, AK from Philadelphia.

In 2009, US Airways and Delta have reached an agreement to exchange landing/takeoff slots at both LaGuardia Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Also, US Airways plans to purchase flying rights to Tokyo and Sao Paulo from Delta. The airline plans to begin service to Tokyo from its Phoenix hub with Airbus A330 aircraft, however it plans not to begin service until 2012 or later[39].

Fleet

US Airways operates a fleet of 357 twinjets, divided between mostly newer Airbus aircraft and generally older Boeing aircraft.[40] As of March 2007, the post-merger airline operated the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.[41] Like the old America West fleet, most new A320 family will use IAE Engines. [6] US Airways has a fleet average age of 11.74 years as of January 2010.[42] US Airways discontinued all in-flight entertainment except on long haul flights. However, Wi-Fi will be offered on a trial basis on a select fleet of A321 aircraft.

The US Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (at September 20, 2009):

US Airways fleet
Aircraft In
service
Orders Passengers
(First-Envoy*/Economy)
Introduced In-flight Entertainment Notes
Airbus A319-100 93 6 124 (12/112) 1998 None 37 of these are Ex-America West Airlines aircraft.
Airbus A320-200 70 48 150 (12/138) 1999 None Deliveries: 2010-2015
Replacing: Boeing 737 Family. 52 ex America West Airlines aircraft.
Airbus A321-200 48 17 183 (16/167) 2001 None Deliveries: 2008-2015
Replacing: domestic Boeing 757-200
Airbus A330-200 5 20 258 (20/238) 2009 Panasonic AVOD, 10 audio channels Deliveries: 2009-?. Will become second largest operator of A330. Orders for 2010 reduced to 2, with rest to come in 2011 onward.
Airbus A330-300 9 1 293 (30/263) 2000 Rockwell Collins (formerly Sony Trans Com) P@ssport AVOD, 10 audio channels First row: Envoy Sleeper Seats. Will become second largest operator of A330. Will receive Panasonic entertainment system in late 2010, along with new seats.
Airbus A350-800 0 18 270 (36/234) 2017 Entry into service: 2017
Airbus A350-900 0 4 330 (36/294) 2017 Entry into service: 2017
Boeing 737-300 24 0 126 (12/114)
134 (8/126)
1984 None Exit from service: 2008-2012
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A320 family, Embraer E190
Boeing 737-400 40 0 144 (12/132) 1985 None Exit from service: 2008-2012
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A320 family, Embraer E190
Boeing 757-200 26 0 193 (8/185)
176 (12/164)
190 (14/176)
1987 (Winglet equipped aircraft only) Envoy: AVOD, Economy: Overhead Video. Ten audio channels Winglets installed on ETOPS
Boeing 767-200ER 10 0 204 (18/186) 1987 Envoy: AVOD, Economy: overhead video. Ten audio channels Long-term replacement plan
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A321-200 & Airbus A330-200
Embraer E190 19 23 99 (11/88) 2006 None Replacing: Boeing 737 Family
Total 353 132

Retired

Retired aircraft flown by USAir or US Airways included:

US Airways retired fleet
Aircraft Year retired Replacement Notes
BAe-146 1991 Boeing 737 The aircraft were added into the fleet after the merger with PSA.
DC-3 1996 None Piedmont Airlines retained one flyable DC-3 which USAir sold in 1996 to the Carolinas Aviation Museum. The aircraft still flies and is supported by US Airways, sporting the US Airways Heritage logo next to the passanger door.
Fokker F28-4000 1997 US Airways Express fleet
Fokker F28-1000 1997 US Airways Express fleet
BAC 1-11 1989 Boeing 737 and US Airways Express fleet
Boeing 727-100 Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 family
Boeing 727-200 2000 Airbus A320 family
Boeing 747-200 1994 None Used by America West for its routes to Japan and Hawaii
Boeing 737-100 2000 Airbus A320 family Used by America West for Phoenix Suns charters
Boeing 737-200 2001/2005 Airbus A320 family US Airways 737-200 aircraft retired 2001, America West aircraft retired January 2005.
Douglas DC-9-30 2001 Airbus A320 family
Fokker F100 2002 Airbus A320 family
McDonnell Douglas MD-80 2002 Airbus A320 family

Fleet organization

A US Airways (formerly America West) Airbus A320, landing at Vancouver International Airport

Livery

US Airways has operated various liveries under both the US Airways and USAir names. In general, the Express and Shuttle divisions have had liveries that closely paralleled the company-wide livery at the time.

Cabin

US Envoy logo.png

Envoy Sleeper Seats

Envoy Sleeper Seats are marketed as Envoy Class, US Airways' International Business Class, although they were considered International First Class-only before US Airways discontinued three-cabin service in 2001. When fully reclined, the sleeper seats are fully horizontal, forming a bed that is flat. There are six of the seats per aircraft, on the Airbus A330-300 only. Each has a personal on-demand video screen attached to the arm rest that offers movies, games and syndicated television shows in multiple languages. There is also an EmPower power outlet at each of the seats. Other Sleeper Seat amenities, including food and beverage services, are identical to those in the rest of Envoy Class. The seats in this class have the largest seat pitch (94") available on any commercial flight in the world.[43]

These Envoy Sleeper Seats will not be available on US' new Airbus A330-200 deliveries.

Envoy Class

US Airways' International Business Class. The older seats fitted to the Airbus A330-300 do not offer the significant recline of the Sleeper Seats, however on Airbus A330-300 aircraft, every seat has a personal on-demand video screen attached to the arm rest that offers movies, games and syndicated television shows in multiple languages, and there is an EmPower power outlet at each seat. The new Airbus A330-200 is fitted with new Envoy Class seats, which lie completely flat. These are designed by Cirrus and feature a fully flat semi-private "pod". The cabin seating is in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration, where every window seat is also an aisle seat.

Three of the current five A330-200's in the fleet are fitted with the new seating (N279AY, N280AY, N282AY), while the other 2 (N281AY, N283AY) are fitted with older Envoy Class seats, because there were delays in receiving the new seats in time for some of the deliveries. The remaining 2 are expected to be retrofitted during 2010, and 2 additional aircraft will be delivered with the seating already installed.

The Boeing 767-200ER features 18 Envoy lie flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are not fully flat, but instead recline to a flat position at an angle to the floor. There is a 110v AC power outlet at each seat, and personal entertainment devices featuring a selection of on demand audio and video programming are distributed to each passenger.

The subfleet of transatlantic, ETOPS configured Boeing 757-200s features 12 Envoy seats in a 2-2 configuration. These are the same seats used in the A330-300 Envoy cabin, with a recline of approximately 160 degrees and 55" of pitch. There is a 110v AC power outlet at each seat, and personal entertainment devices featuring a selection of on demand audio and video programming are distributed to each passenger.

The airline offers free food and beverage service for all Envoy Class seats.

Domestic First Class

Domestic First Class service is available on all US Airways-operated aircraft and available via free upgrades to Preferred members, with a seat pitch ranging from 35 to 38 inches and a seat width ranging from 20 to 21 inches. Free wine, beer and spirits are offered, along with snacks including cookies, chips and cashews. Meals are provided on flights of 3.5 hours or longer. Blankets and pillows are offered free of charge to all First Class passengers.

Economy Class

Economy class is available on all aircraft, with a seat pitch ranging from 30 to 33 inches and a seat width ranging from 17 to 18 inches. On A330 (and coming soon to Boeing 767 and wingletted 757 aircraft), every seat has a personal video screen located in the forward seat back that includes movies, games and syndicated television shows in multiple languages. On board the new A330-200, a Panasonic entertainment system is available. On the older A330-300 aircraft, there is a system made by Rockwell Collins. The seats on this aircraft used to be cloth seats, but, though the seats are the same, the seats are now covered in leather. The seats feature winged headrests and mechanical lumbar support. The A330-300 will be fitted with the new entertainment system, and new seats, in late 2010. On all other Airbus and some Boeing aircraft, there were overhead monitors mounted every three rows or so. All overhead monitors were removed by November 1, 2008 with the exception of the Hawaii and transatlantic Boeing 757s. The Boeing 767 still retains the wall mounted LCD monitors in the front of each cabin and the overhead video unit at row 22. They will be replaced with PTV.

An EmPower power outlet is available on some Airbus aircraft, but is not available on planes formerly operated by America West. All power ports will be disabled on all domestic narrowbody aircraft as of November 1, 2008. Meals are available for purchase on flights over 3.5 hours and snack boxes are available on flights over 2.5 hours as part of a buy on board program. Soft drinks, water and coffee are free on all flights. Non-alcoholic beverages became free again March 1.[44] On transatlantic flights, meals and drinks (excluding alcohol) are free.[45][46]

Dividend Miles

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Dividend Miles is US Airways' frequent flyer program. Members of the program earn mileage bonuses, priority check-in, and other benefits. In addition to US Airways partner airlines in the Star Alliance, the Dividend Miles program other partner airlines or programs include:

Dividend Miles has 5 status membership levels, general member, silver preferred, gold preferred, platinum preferred, and Chairman's preferred.

  • Silver Preferred

Silver membership is obtained when a member flies 25,000 preferred qualified miles or 30 segments during the calendar year. Benefits include the following: Instant upgrades on Y/B domestic fares. Complementary upgrades 2 days prior to departure on all other domestic tickets. Ability to reserve choice coach seats. Free 1st and 2nd check bags. 25% mileage bonus. 500 mile minimum mileage earned. Private reservation number. Priority check-in, security screening, and boarding. Free Stand-by.

  • Gold Preferred

Gold membership is obtained when a member flies 50,000 preferred qualified miles or 60 segments during the calendar year. Benefits include the following: Instant upgrades on Y/B domestic fares. Complementary upgrades 3 days prior to departure on all other domestic tickets. Ability to reserve choice coach seats. Free 1st and 2nd check bags. 50% mileage bonus. 500 mile minimum mileage earned. Private reservation number. Priority check-in, security screening, and boarding. Free Stand-by on flights.

  • Platinum Preferred

Platinum membership is obtained when a member flies 75,000 preferred qualified miles or 90 segments during the calendar year.

  • Chairman's Preferred

Chairman's membership is obtained when a member flies 100,000 preferred qualified miles or 120 segments during the calendar year.

America West Airlines had a frequent flyer program called FlightFund. Following the US Airways-America West merger, FlightFund was merged into the US Airways Dividend Miles program.

Airport lounges

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US Airways Club

The airline's airport lounge is called the US Airways Club and has 19 lounges in 14 airports across the US.

Locations

Envoy Lounge

In addition to the US Airways Clubs, there is one Envoy Lounge located in Philadelphia International Airport for Envoy Class passengers. The Envoy Lounge includes upgraded amenities including free alcohol. All passengers with an Envoy Class or Star Alliance Business Class ticket are admitted at no charge. Also all travelers with star alliance gold status are allowed free admittance into the club regardless of ticket class, with the exception of UA and US star gold members. Those with a Star Alliance First Class ticket are admitted and also allowed one guest (traveling on a Star Alliance carrier).

Codeshare agreements

US Airways has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of July 2008:[47]

Note: This list includes Star Alliance (*) partners.

Former agreements

  • American Airlines (codeshared with US Airways in the 90s)
  • Big Sky Airlines (ceased operations March 8, 2008)
  • British Airways (codeshared with both US Airways [1993-1997] and America West Airlines[48] at different times)
  • Caribbean Sun (ceased to exist when the airline shut down on January 31, 2007)
  • Continental Airlines (codeshared with America West Airlines[49]) and ended the agreement on May 1, 2002, citing low code-shared flight sales. Continental resumed its reciprocal frequent flyer agreement on October 25, 2009, when it joined the Star Alliance.
  • Lufthansa (codeshared in the 1990s with US Airways prior to the formation of the Star Alliance with a three-year break until US Airways joined the Star Alliance.)
  • Qantas (codeshared with both US Airways in the 90s and America West Airlines before the merger; and after the merger with the combined US Airways/America West Airlines and ended the agreement February 28, 2007 due to Qantas being in the competing Oneworld airline alliance)
  • Northwest Airlines (codeshared with America West Airlines on flights from Asia)
  • Windward Islands Airways (codeshared with US Airways program has been suspended indefinitely)[citation needed]

Incidents and accidents

US Airways Flight 1549's Airbus A320 sitting in the Hudson River with passengers on the wings.

The incidents and crashes listed below include only those of US Airways and US Air (and not predecessor or merger airlines such as Allegheny, Piedmont, PSA or America West; or partnering regional commuter airlines operating US Airways flights under the brand US Airways Express).

US Airways Reported Incidents
Flight Date Aircraft Location Description Injuries
Fatal Serious Minor Uninjured
499[50] February 21, 1986 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 Erie, Pennsylvania Overran snow covered runway 1 22
5050[51] September 20, 1989 Boeing 737-401 Flushing, New York, New York Deflection of rudder during takeoff 2 3 18 40
1493[52] February 1, 1991 Boeing 737-3B7 Los Angeles, California ATC controller separation error 34 13 17 37
405[53] March 22, 1992 Fokker 28-4000 Flushing, New York, New York Improper deicing procedures 27 9 12 3
1016[54] July 2, 1994 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 Charlotte, North Carolina Windshear during missed approach 37 16 4
427[55] September 8, 1994 Boeing 737-3B7 Hopewell Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Uncommanded rudder deflection 132
1172[56] October 16, 2003 Airbus A319-112 Tampa, FL Failure of brake steering control unit (BSCU) during taxi 1 2 103
1549 January 15, 2009 Airbus A320-214 New York, NY Bird strike in engines, and dual engine failure (NTSB) 1 (approx. 77 people treated for hypothermia)[57] 154

Mobile Services

US Airways' short code number is 839887 ("TEXTUS"). Interested parties who text a flight number to 839887 receive flight status in reply.

Headquarters

US Airways headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, formerly the America West Airlines headquarters

US Airways has its headquarters in Tempe, Arizona. The 225,000 square feet (20,900 m2) building was originally occupied by America West Airlines.[58] Jahna Berry of the Arizona Business Gazette said in 2005 that the building "is one of the dominant buildings in downtown Tempe."[59] The City of Tempe gave America West $11 million in incentives and tax breaks so it could occupy what is now the US Airways headquarters, which had a cost of $37 million to construct.[60] The construction of the building began in January 1998; the groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 19 of that year.[61] As of 2006 over 700 employees work at the nine story building.[62]

Previously US Airways had its headquarters in Park Four, a Class A mixed-use development in Crystal City, Arlington County, Virginia. Park Four is between Reagan National Airport, The Pentagon, and Washington, DC.[63][64] After the merger with America West Airlines, the company decided to close its Virginia headquarters and scheduled to move the employees into the former America West building in three to six months after the merger closes in September or October of 2005.[65] Russell Grantham at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that the decision to move the headquarters to Tempe was not that difficult because the Crystal City facility "consisted of like two or three floors of people."[66]

Community support

Do Crew

The US Airways Do Crew program is the airline's employee community-service program. Employee volunteers in the program participate in community-based projects on a monthly basis through local chapters in Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and Winston-Salem.

See also


References

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  3. ^ "Hoover's profile of US Airways, Company History". Hoover's. 2007-09-07. http://www.answers.com/topic/us-airways-group-inc?cat=biz-fin. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  4. ^ US Air 767 in British Airways Livery at airliners.net
  5. ^ Search of US Air Planes in British Airways Livery at airliners.net.
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  7. ^ Dismantling Pittsburgh: Death of an airline hub
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  17. ^ BTS | Airlines On-Time Performance in May Better Than April But Slips From Previous Year
  18. ^ BTS | Airlines On-Time Performance in March Better Than February But Slips From Previous Year
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  27. ^ http://www.btnonline.com/businesstravelnews/headlines/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004031470
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  31. ^ "[2], " Reuters
  32. ^ 'http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24352806/'
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  36. ^ [3]
  37. ^ [4]
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  40. ^ US Airways System Fact Sheet (May 2008)
  41. ^ US Airways Become Largest User of AIRMAN – Airbus’ Real-Time Maintenance Tool (Airbus: January 11, 2007)
  42. ^ Fleet age US Airways– Airfleets
  43. ^ http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm
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  49. ^ Continental Ends Ticket Alliance With America West The New York Times Online Archives
  50. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA86AA018
  51. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA89MA074
  52. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA91MA018A
  53. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA92MA025
  54. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA94MA065
  55. ^ NTSB Identification: DCA94MA076
  56. ^ NTSB Identification: MIA04LA004
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