US Airways Announces Strategic Plan to Strengthen Core Network

Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:39pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Focus Continues to Center around Core Network Strengths of Its Three Hubs, Focus
City in Washington, D.C. and Shuttle Service
TEMPE, Ariz.--(Business Wire)--
US Airways (NYSE: LCC) today announced it is realigning its operations to focus
on the airline`s core network strengths, which include hubs in Charlotte (CLT),
Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX), and a focus city at Washington`s National
Airport (DCA). These four cities, as well as the airline`s popular hourly
Shuttle service between New York`s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston (BOS) and
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), will serve as the cornerstone
of the airline`s network. By the end of 2010 they will represent 99 percent of
the airline`s available seat miles (ASMs) versus roughly 93 percent today. 

In a letter to employees US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker outlined the
changes, "Today we are announcing a realignment intended to focus on our key
network strengths at our hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix, our focus
city at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and our Shuttle service. By
concentrating on our strengths we will be better positioned to return US Airways
to profitability, which will result in a more consistent experience for our
customers, better returns for our shareholders and greater job stability and
career opportunities for our employees." 

US Airways is making the following changes to facilitate the realignment
strategy, which dictates matching the airline`s schedule and operation to
customer demand:

* Reducing Las Vegas (LAS) flights from 64 to 36 daily departures by February
2010 as a result of high fuel prices and continued weak demand associated with
the Las Vegas market. 
* Closing stations in Colorado Springs (COS) and Wichita (ICT) and moving that
flying to more profitable routes across its three hubs. 
* Redeploying the airline`s 15 E-190 aircraft on routes between Boston (BOS) and
Philadelphia and on the Boston-LaGuardia (LGA) leg of the US Airways Shuttle. 
* Suspending five European destinations from US Airways` international gateway
in Philadelphia, given the weakness in trans-Atlantic revenue: Birmingham, U.K.
(BHX); London Gatwick, U.K. (LGW); Milan, Italy (MXP); Shannon, Ireland (SNN);
and Stockholm, Sweden (ARN). Seasonal service to Brussels, Belgium (BRU) and
Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) will transition to year-round service in late 2010. 
* Returning its Philadelphia-Beijing (PEK) flight authority to the Department of
Transportation (DOT) until economic conditions improve, while retaining the
option to reapply for this authority in the future. 
* Rightsizing and repositioning its crew bases in Philadelphia, Charlotte,
Phoenix and Washington, D.C. by closing crew bases in Boston, LaGuardia and Las
Vegas. The Las Vegas and LaGuardia bases are expected to close on January 31,
2010, and Boston will close on May 2, 2010.

As part of the initiatives outlined above, US Airways will reduce its staffing
by approximately 1,000 positions across its system during the first half of
2010. These reductions include approximately 600 airport passenger and ramp
service positions, approximately 200 pilot positions and approximately 150
flight attendant positions. 

Addressing the airline`s employees in a personal letter, Parker said, "These are
difficult decisions to make because of the impact to some of our fellow
employees. They are, however, the right decisions. By focusing on our strengths
and eliminating unprofitable flying we will increase the likelihood of returning
US Airways to long-term profitability, which is in all of our best interests. As
we work through these changes, we`ll do all we can to minimize the impact of
these reductions on our current employees." 

Domestic and International Schedule Changes

Charlotte: US Airways has a proud history of serving Charlotte, N.C. that was
solidified when it merged with the former Piedmont Airlines in 1989. Today, the
airline operates more than 500 daily flights to 121 destinations from its
Charlotte hub, including 19 international destinations. Over the past year, US
Airways has added international service from Charlotte to Montreal and to Paris.
In December 2009, the airline will inaugurate service from Charlotte to Honolulu
and to Rio de Janeiro. 

Charlotte is also home to one of the airline`s two flight crew training centers.
Housed in a two-story 200,000-square-foot state-of-the art center are 13
full-flight simulator bays, two cabin emergency trainers and 25 classrooms
dedicated to training the airline`s pilots and flight attendants who are based
throughout the airline`s East Coast and international network. The airline also
operates line maintenance, which consists of overnight inspections and routine
maintenance work, and heavy maintenance, which consists of overhaul work on the
Boeing 737 and 757 fleets, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Other
important elements of the airline`s operation that reside in Charlotte include
its central baggage warehouse, a catering commissary operation, a ground service
equipment center, and its primary distribution center for all aircraft
components and parts. 

"With nearly 6,000 employees in Charlotte, and many of our operation support
systems located here as well, we are certainly proud to call Charlotte home,"
said Parker. "We remain deeply committed to the community and citizens of
Charlotte and surrounding regions, and look forward to identifying continued
opportunities to bring flights from Charlotte to other regions of the world." 

Philadelphia: At US Airways` Philadelphia hub, which serves as the airline`s
Primary Intercontinental Gateway, the airline operates more than 400 daily
flights and employs nearly 6,000 employees directly. The airline`s presence also
supports thousands of additional jobs indirectly. Although the airline is
scaling back service in some softer markets as outlined above, markets where
demand is strong have increased over the past year. This past summer, the
airline inaugurated its first-ever market in the Middle East when it began
operating daily nonstop flying to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia. Additional service
to Oslo also began this past summer from Philadelphia, and as part of today`s
realignment, the airline announced it will transition seasonal flying to
Brussels and Zurich to year-round service. In December of this year, the airline
will increase its service from Philadelphia to Barbados. 

The airline also maintains a satellite headquarters team at Philadelphia, along
with a significant line maintenance operation, catering commissary and a ground
service equipment center. 

Parker noted, "Philadelphia provides a terrific gateway for our important
trans-Atlantic network. Our Philadelphia team safely guides our operation amidst
some of the most congested airspace in the world, and we couldn`t be more proud
of them. 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 re-evaluating
our proposed China service in the future." 

Phoenix: US Airways has been part of the region`s skyline since its merger with
America West in 2005. With non-stop service to 80 destinations, including nine
international cities, the airline is a strong corporate partner in the region.
Today the airline operates more than 250 daily flights, and retains its
corporate headquarters, as well as several administrative centers in nearby
Tempe, Ariz. A maintenance hangar serving the airline`s line maintenance needs
employs several hundred of the airline`s 8,700 employees who work in the region.
Additionally, Phoenix-based flight crew members train at a state-of-the-art
facility near Sky Harbor International Airport that is complete with 10
full-flight simulator bays, two cabin emergency trainers and 16 classrooms. 

"We are proud to serve as the hometown airline of Phoenix," Parker said. "While
we have enjoyed success with serving international destinations in Mexico and
Canada, we are also excited to launch our first nonstop Caribbean destination
from Phoenix to Montego Bay in December." 

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport:

US Airways maintains a significant presence at Ronald Reagan Washington National
Airport and recently announced plans to increase that presence. When its slot
transaction with Delta Air Lines is complete, the airline will operate nearly
230 daily flights to over 60 destinations. Eight markets will receive non-stop
service that do not have it today, including Birmingham, Ala., Islip, N.Y.,
Ithaca, N.Y., Little Rock, Ark., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pensacola, Fla., Savannah,
Ga. and Tallahassee, Fla. The added service will also create additional jobs at
Washington National, and the airline will ultimately have a total staff of
approximately 550 at the airport. 

"We are extremely proud to build on our heritage at Washington National," Parker
noted. "By continuing to serve smaller communities with the right size aircraft
and increasing seats in communities where demand dictates, our plans to provide
more non-stop service to our nation`s capital are well on track." 

Customer Service Enhancements

Parker continued, "In addition to rightsizing our flying to better match demand,
we`re taking additional steps to ensure our customers receive industry-leading
service. US Airways was first among the major network airlines in the important
customer service metric of on-time performance in 2008, and we are running first
again in 2009. We also recently announced that we`ll install new lie-flat
business-class seats with an advanced on-demand in-flight entertainment system.
The first installation will begin next month on our Airbus wide-body aircraft,
and will roll out on the line in December." 

The airline`s Envoy Suite will experience will include:

* A fully adjustable seat with lie-flat bed 
* Direct aisle access from each Suite with all seats facing forward 
* Generous personal space and stowage 
* An easy-to-reach technology panel, including a 110-volt universal power
outlet, satellite telephone and USB port 
* State-of-the-art personal entertainment system with a 12.1" adjustable
touch-screen

The airline also recently announced that its customers can now access more than
250 airport clubs worldwide with a single membership through its Star Alliance.
Access now includes reciprocal club access with Star`s newest member,
Continental Airlines, as well as to United`s Red Carpet Clubs. Other Star
Alliance lounges are also accessible with a single, standard membership. Club
members will also enjoy complimentary house selections of beer and wine in all
of US Airways Clubs. 

About US Airways

US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more
than 3,000 flights per day and serves more than 200 communities in the U.S.,
Canada, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline
employs more than 32,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the
Star Alliance network, which offers its customers more than 19,000 daily flights
to 1,071 airports in 171 countries. Together with its US Airways Express
partners, the airline serves approximately 60 million passengers each year and
operates hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix, and a focus city at
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. And for the 11th consecutive year,
the airline received a Diamond Award for maintenance training excellence from
the Federal Aviation Administration for its Charlotte hub line maintenance
facility. For more company information, visit usairways.com. (LCCG) 

-Fly with US-

US Airways, Tempe
Media Relations, 480-693-5729 

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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