US Airways


US Airways
US Airways
IATA
US
ICAO
AWE
Callsign
CACTUS
Founded 1979 (as USAir) (history dates back to 1939 as All American Aviation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), 1981 (as America West Airlines)
Hubs [1]
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Dividend Miles
Airport lounge US Airways Club
Alliance Star Alliance
Subsidiaries
Fleet size 342 (+119 orders)
Destinations 141
Company slogan Fly With US
Parent company US Airways Group
Headquarters Tempe, Arizona
Key people
  • Scott Kirby (President)
  • Doug Parker (CEO)
  • Robert Isom (COO)
  • Derek Kerr (CFO)
Website usairways.com

US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country.[2]

US Airways operates major hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix and maintains focus city operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.[3]

A member of the Star Alliance, the airline has a fleet of 341 mainline jet aircraft and 319 regional jet and turbo-prop aircraft connecting 200 destinations in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East.

In 2003 US Airways began exploring the availability of financing and merger partners. The airline merged in 2005 with America West Airlines; all of the financing was arranged by US Airways.[4] After the merger,[5] the new airline retained the US Airways name. The name choice was based on studies indicating that the US Airways name had better brand recognition worldwide than the America West name.

The carrier 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. As of December 2008, US Airways employed 33,765 people worldwide and operated 3,130 daily flights (1,312 US Airways Mainline, 1,818 US Airways Express as of December 2008).

Contents

History

Heritage

Allegheny Airlines BAC One-Eleven

US Airways traces its history to All American Aviation Inc, a company founded by du Pont family brothers Richard C. du Pont, Alexis Felix du Pont, Jr. and CEO Steven Gardner. Headquartered 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; it became Allegheny Airlines in 1953.[6]

Allegheny's first jet was the Douglas DC-9 in 1966; it absorbed 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.[7]

But with expansion came growing pains: by the 1970s Allegheny Airlines had the nickname "Agony Air" due to customer dissatisfaction with the carrier's service.[8] Even after a later rebranding to "USAir", when service sometimes skidded downward, complainers sometimes dubbed the airline "Useless Air".

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 regarded as the industry's first code-share agreement,[9] a type of service now offered throughout the industry.

1970s: Deregulation and rebranding

Douglas DC-9 in USAir livery

Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979[10] 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.

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 the late 80s purchasing San Diego-based Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) in 1986 and Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Piedmont Airlines in 1987.[11] The PSA and Piedmont acquisitions were completed in 1988, and 1989, respectively.[12]

The PSA acquisition gave USAir its first routes to the West Coast, while the Piedmont acquisition gave USAir a strong east-coast presence and new hubs in Baltimore and Charlotte, which remained key hubs for USAir in later years. 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.[13] Following the acquisitions, USAir closed down PSA's hubs in California and Piedmont's hubs in Dayton and Syracuse.

In 1990, 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.[14]

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

Boeing 737-300 in the 1997 US Airways livery

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.[15][16] It also invested in a new terminal at its hub at Pittsburgh.[13]

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.[17]

On November 12, 1996, the airline announced that it would change its name to US Airways and introduce a new corporate identity in early 1997. The new logo, a stylized version of the Flag of the United States, would be adopted. The new branding was to be applied to terminals and ticket jackets. The airline planned to paint aircraft in deep blue and medium gray with red and white accent lines.[18]

MetroJet aircraft

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.[19]

On November 6, 1996, immediately prior to 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 wide-body aircraft, with an initial firm order for seven of the Airbus 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.[20]

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.[21]

2000–2004: September 11 and financial woes

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

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

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.[22] 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.[23]

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[24] 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.[25] As of 2010, Pittsburgh is no longer listed as a US Airways focus city.[26] US Airways now operates an average of only 39 departures a day exclusively to domestic destinations, compared to 2001 when it was a hub with 500+ flights a day with service across the United States and to Europe.[27]

2004–2005

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.[28] The attempt was largely unsuccessful and short-lived, in part due to Fort Lauderdale's 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 and New York-LaGuardia.

The airline became the 15th member of the Star Alliance on May 4, 2004.[29]

Fuel costs and deadlocked negotiations with organized labor, chiefly the Air Line Pilots Association, 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.[30]

US Airways/America West 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, 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.[31] 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 merged FAA operating certificate includes America West's airline call sign "CACTUS."

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 was obtained to allow 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 were 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.[32]

The end of 2006 saw US Airways making a bid for competitor Delta Air Lines, which opposed this bid, treating it as a hostile 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.[33]

Shortly after the failed take over of Delta by US Airways, Doug Parker CEO of US Airways, was arrested for a DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona. [34]

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.

Overnight on 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, 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.

America West Airlines and the US Airways merged FAA certificates on September 25, 2007. Former America West employees (including pilots, fleet service personnel, flight attendants) remain on their original America West union contracts and did not fully combine 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 chosen. 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 and flight attendant union groups from both sides successfully negotiate a single contract, each group of crewmembers 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.[35]

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, found that US Airways remained in last place, with its score dropping an additional 10 points.[36] 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.[37]

On August 1, 2008, US Airways ceased providing its passengers with complimentary beverages. 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.[38] US Airways resumed serving complimentary drinks in March 2009.

US Airways ranked last out of 20 domestic airline carriers for systemwide on-time performance in March, April and May 2007, according to DOT figures.[39][40][41] 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.[42] 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 Airlines (0.4 complaints per 100,000 customers).[42] US Airways has a very poor record of addressing customer complaints, answering only 50% of the telephone calls to its customer service department.[43]

US Airways East pilots took steps to relinquish their ALPA membership and form their own in-house union.[44] "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.[45] 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 Parker stated his frustration at the economics of Pittsburgh, and referred to the possibility of service further decreasing. This represents a further deterioration of a strained relationship with Allegheny County, with which the airline shares significant historical ties.[46] 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.[47] 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.

2008

It took more than a year to correct problems stemming from the merger and by 2008, US Airways was one of the best performers among the legacy carriers. The carrier had the best departure and arrival performances among the other major US carriers. It finished with strong On-Time departure and On-Time arrival performances good enough to be number one among all major carriers. Northwest was the only other carrier that had better performances but became a part of Delta during that year.

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.[48] Then, on April 28, 2008, reports stated that US Airways would announce its intent to merge with United within two weeks.[49] At the end of May 2008, the airline announced that merger talks were formally ended.[50]

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.[51] However, it was making steady ground to bridge its gap with other airlines.

Flight Operations Center

Pittsburgh International Airport won a three way competition between Phoenix and Charlotte for the right to continue as US Airway's Global Flight Operations center. Opening in November 2008, US Airways invested more than $25 million into a state-of-the-art 72,000-square-foot (6,700 m2) 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 US Airways network.[52]

2009

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, under the command of Captain Chesley Sullenberger, flying from New York City's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport 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.[53] 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."[54] 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 and 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.[55][56] 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. On December 8, US Airways started the flight to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão airport operated by a Boeing 767-200. This is the first route to South America.

2010

US Airways cut many routes to close its focus cities at Las Vegas, Boston, and New York LaGuardia. The airline was given tentative government approval to trade many of its LaGuardia takeoff and landing slots to Delta Air Lines in exchange for Delta's slots at Washington Reagan. This exchange would strengthen each airline's presence at both airports. The DOT gave approval pending the carriers selling a small percentage of their routes to other carriers. US Airways and Delta disagreed with the decision and said they planned to sue the US DOT.[57] US Airways has since reopened their Focus City operations at La Guardia Airport through its regional US Airways Express arm.[58]

On April 7, 2010, the New York Times reported that US Airways was "deep in merger discussions" with United Airlines. The report stated that a deal would not be reached for several weeks, but indicated that a deal was close.[59] Several weeks later, however, on April 22, 2010, the airline ended discussions with United regarding the merger.[60] Shortly thereafter, United announced that it was merging with Continental Airlines instead.[61]

On August 19, 2010, US Airways announced "FastPath", a new complimentary service for travelers flying between Philadelphia and Boston in all classes of service. Perks include dedicated check-in lines, priority security lane (shared with First Class, Envoy, Dividend Miles Preferred and Star Alliance Gold members), departure gates located closest to security, and the first and closest baggage carousel. Travelers will follow green "FastPath" signs at the airport.[62]

US Airways (NYSE:LCC) ranked first in baggage handling for 2010 among the major network carriers according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) December 2010 Air Travel Consumer Report. The airline's 2.6 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers ratio for 2010 was US Airways' best baggage handling performance in company history. However, J.D. Power ranked US Airways last in all categories for which it judged airlines, never giving it more than two out of five points with the exception of “Boarding Experience”

2011

In April 2011, US Airways earned the top spot in the 2011 Airline Quality Rating(AQR) report among "Big-Five" hub-and-spoke network carriers.[63] US Airways President Scott Kirby said that US Airways was the last viable airline in the U.S. to merge, and that any potential merger would be with one of three U.S. carriers: United Continental Holdings, American Airlines or Delta Airlines.[64] Kirby also commented that US Airways' membership in the Star Alliance would make a merger with United Continental Holdings easier, but added that "it's not meaningful enough to really be a factor."[65]

Among the 10 largest domestic airlines, consumers scored US Airways last for overall customer satisfaction in a May 2011 Consumer Reports survey.[66][67][68]

May 2011 Business Insider reported that ACSI ranked US Airways sixth in a list of “The 19 Most Hated Companies in America.”[69]

July 2011 the pilots' union, USAPA, purchased a full page advertisement in the USA Today newspaper, questioning US Airways management's commitment to safety.[70] US Airways transmitted a communication to all of its employees, on the same day as the ad, denying the accusations.

October 29, 2011, a US Airways flight attendant was found murdered in the crew layover hotel in Mexico City. Mexican authorities are still investigating the circumstances of the murder. [71]

Company affairs and identity

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.[72] Jahna Berry of the Arizona Business Gazette said in 2005 that the building "is one of the dominant buildings in downtown Tempe."[73] The City of Tempe gave America West $11 million in incentives and tax breaks so it would occupy what is now the US Airways headquarters, which cost $37 million to construct.[74] Construction of the building began in January 1998, although the official groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 19 of that year.[75] As of 2006 over 700 employees work at the nine story building.[76]

Previously US Airways had its headquarters in Crystal Park Four, a Class A mixed-use development in Crystal City, Virginia.[77][78] Park Four is between Reagan National Airport, The Pentagon, and Washington, D.C.[78] After the merger with America West Airlines, the company decided to close its Virginia headquarters and moved the employees into the former America West building in three to six months after the merger closed.[79] 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."[80]

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, D.C. and Winston-Salem.

Livery

A US Airways (formerly America West) Airbus A320, landing at Vancouver International Airport
A US Airways Airbus A330 at Manchester.

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.

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 America West 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 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 Gatwick Airport.

Also in 2007, the airline applied for flights to Bogotá, Colombia, however its application was denied by the U.S. 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.[81] US Airways has also started year-round service between Charlotte and Rio de Janeiro. On June 1, 2010, US Airways inaugurated 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 São 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.[82]

US Airways has announced they will use United Airlines dormant Brazil slots to begin nonstop service to São Paulo from Charlotte. The route has been approved by the United States government and US Airways is waiting for approval from the Brazilian government to begin the route. Service was expected to start January 2011.[83]

Codeshare agreements

US Airways has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of October 2010:[84]

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[87] at different times)
  • Caribbean Sun (ceased to exist when the airline shut down on January 31, 2007)
  • Continental Airlines (codeshared with America West Airlines[88]) 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; Northwest merged with Delta in 2010)

Fleet

Present

US Airways operates a fleet of 347 twinjets, divided between mostly newer Airbus aircraft and generally older Boeing aircraft.[89] As of March 2007, the post-merger airline operated the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.[90] Like the old America West fleet, most new Airbus A320 family will use IAE Engines. [3] US Airways has a fleet average age of 13.3 years as of October 2011.[citation needed] 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 Airbus A321 aircraft.

The US Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of July 31, 2010):[91]

US Airways fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
S E F Y Total
Airbus A319-100 93 3 12 112 124 Largest operator of A320 family
Airbus A320-200 72 39 12 138 150 Deliveries: 2009-2015
Airbus A321-200 57 24 16 167 183 Deliveries: 2008-2015
Airbus A330-200 7 8[92] 20 238 258 Deliveries to resume in 2013
Airbus A330-300 9 6 24 263 293
Airbus A350-800 18 36 234 270 Entry into service: 2017[92]
First American airline to order A350
Airbus A350-900 4 36 294 330 Entry into service: 2017[92]
Boeing 737-300 15 12
8
114
126
126
134
Boeing 737-400 40 12 132 144
Boeing 757-200
Domestic ETOPS
9 15 176 190
Boeing 757-200
International ETOPS
15 12 164 176
Boeing 767-200ER 10 18 186 204
Embraer 190 15 23 11 88 99
Total 342 119

Fleet gallery

Retired

Retired aircraft flown by USAir or US Airways included:

US Airways retired fleet
Aircraft Year retired Replacement Notes
BAe-146 1991 Boeing 737 Aircraft were obtained from the merger with PSA.[93]
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 passenger door.
Fokker F28 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 Aircraft were obtained from the merger with PSA.[93]

Cabin

Envoy Sleeper Seats

US Envoy logo.png

Envoy Sleeper Seats are marketed as Envoy Class, US Airways' International Business Class, although they were International First Class Only before US Airways discontinued three-cabin service in 2003. When fully reclined, the sleeper seats are horizontal, forming a flat bed. 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.[94]

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 these seats are currently being replaced by the Envoy Suite found on the A330-200, 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 the Cirrus model designed by Sicma Aeroseat 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.

All seven A330-200's in the fleet are fitted with the new seating (N279AY, N280AY, N282AY, N284AY, N285AY, N281AY, N283AY). The first two A330-200s delivered (N281AY, N283AY) were fitted with older Envoy Class seats, because there were delays in receiving the new seats in time for some of the deliveries. These aircraft were retrofitted in late 2010.

The Boeing 767-200ER features 18 Envoy "lie flat" seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are not fully horizontal parallel to the floor of the aircraft, but instead recline to a flat position at an angle to the floor. There is a 110 V 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 Airbus A330-300 Envoy cabin, with a recline of approximately 160 degrees and 55" of pitch. There is a 110 V 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. US Airways has recently announced that they will be adding first class seats to he larger regional jets, First Class on Express flights is now offered on Embraer 170/175 aircraft and the installation is ongoing for the CRJ-700/900 aircraft, with an estimated completion of December 2011.

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 Airbus A330s (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 Airbus A330-200, a Panasonic entertainment system is available. On the older Airbus A330-300 aircraft, there is a system made by Rockwell Collins. The cushions on this aircraft used to be cloth, but are now covered in leather. The seats feature winged headrests and mechanical lumbar support. The Airbus 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. This makes USAirways the only legacy carrier to offer absolutely no form of entertainment for domestic travel, with the exception of Hawai'i. And on transatlantic and transpacific flights, you can expect to pay $5 for the headphones, as single pronged headphones will not work on their planes. 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, as is a copy of US Airways Magazine.[95] On transatlantic flights, meals and drinks (excluding alcohol) are free.[96]

Dividend Miles

USAir dividendmiles.png

Dividend Miles is US Airways Group's 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 North American fares. Complementary upgrades 2 days prior to departure on all other North American flights. Ability to reserve choice coach seats. Free 1st and 2nd check bags. 25% mileage bonus. 500-mile (800 km) minimum mileage earned. Star Alliance Silver status. Private reservation number. Priority check-in, baggage, security screening, and boarding. Free Stand-by. Members who reach 35,000 miles or 45 segments are given a day pas to the US Club, the ability to nominate a friend to trial preferred, and special offers from partners.

  • 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 North American fares. Complementary upgrades 3 days prior to departure on all other North American tickets. Ability to reserve choice coach seats. Three free checked bags. 50% mileage bonus. 500-mile (800 km) minimum mileage earned. Star Alliance Gold status. Private reservation number. Priority check-in, security screening, and boarding. Free Stand-by on flights. Members who reach 60,000 miles or 75 segments get to add a spouse to their US Club membership at no cost and receive more special offers from partners.

  • Platinum Preferred

Platinum membership is obtained when a member flies 75,000 preferred qualified miles or 90 segments during the calendar year. All of the benefits of Gold Preferred are included as well as a 75% mileage bonus, complementary upgrades 4 days prior to departure on all flights within North America, and guaranteed seating on all flights. Members who reach 85,000 miles or 105 segments get the right to nominate a friend to Silver Preferred status and first class travel on award tickets.

  • Chairman's Preferred

Chairman's membership is obtained when a member flies 100,000 preferred qualified miles or 120 segments during the calendar year. All of the benefits of Platinum Preferred are included as well as a 100% milage bonus, complementary upgrades 7 days prior to departure on all flights within North America, and four systemwide upgrades. Members who reach 125,000 miles or 150 segments receive a free US Club membership and the right to nominate a friend to Gold Preferred. For every additional 25,000 miles or 30 segments that members reach, they can nominate another friend to Gold Preferred.

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

USAir clublogo.png

US Airways Club

The airline's airport lounge is called the US Airways Club and has 19 lounges in 14 airports across the US. Philadelphia used to have an envoy lounge, which was reserved exclusively for international business or first class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members traveling on long-haul international flights. On October 31st, the airline converted it to a standard club.

Locations

Incidents and accidents

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[97] February 21, 1986 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 Erie, Pennsylvania Overran snow covered runway 1 22
5050[98] September 20, 1989 Boeing 737-400 Flushing, New York Deflection of rudder during takeoff 2 3 18 40
1493[99] February 1, 1991 Boeing 737-300 Los Angeles, California ATC controller separation error 34 13 17 37
405[100] March 22, 1992 Fokker 28-4000 Flushing, New York Improper deicing procedures, pilot error 27 9 12 3
1016[101] July 2, 1994 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 Charlotte, North Carolina Windshear during missed approach 37 16 4
427[102] September 8, 1994 Boeing 737-300 Hopewell Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania Uncommanded rudder deflection 132
1172[103] October 16, 2003 Airbus A319-100 Tampa, Florida Failure of brake steering control unit (BSCU) during taxi 1 2 103
1549 January 15, 2009 Airbus A320-200 New York Bird strike in engines, and dual engine failure (NTSB) 1 (approx. 77 people treated for hypothermia)[104] 154

See also


References

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