Happy Birthday US Airways II

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Combined US Airways-America West takes flight

The new US Airways, the combination of US Airways Group Inc. and America West Airlines, took flight Tuesday as the nation's fifth-largest domestic airline.

The combined carrier will be based in Tempe, Ariz., America West's base, but carry the US Airways name and have a new stock symbol (NYSE:LCC).

"Today we start a new chapter in aviation history," said CEO Doug Parker, who rang the opening bell of the NYSE in celebration Tuesday morning. "The new US Airways combines our airlines' proud heritage with our employees' passionate commitment to provide our customers with friendly service and low fares. This is a great day for the employees of America West and US Airways as well as for the people in the hundreds of communities we serve."

The new US Airways will be the fifth largest domestic airline, employing nearly 38,000 people. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and the US Airways Express operate approximately 4,000 flights per day and serve more than 225 communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Pittsburgh will be a secondary hub for the combined carrier, while Charlotte, N.C., Phoenix, and Philadelphia will remain hubs.

While the merged airline will operate under the US Airways name, America West and US Airways will maintain separate operating certificates for approximately two to three years. Once Federal Aviation Administration approvals have been granted, the two airlines' operating certificates will be combined.

"We are confident that the enthusiasm and professionalism of our employees, combined with the experienced leadership team we have selected to run the new airline will give us greater financial stability and competitive strength in the marketplace," Parker said.

The airlines offered the following travel tips for passengers to follow immediately following the merger:

* Customers should continue to book directly with US Airways or America West as they did before the merger. The airlines' Web sites will operate separately in the short term, as will the two carrier's reservations systems.
* Customers should check their e-ticket or paper ticket, which will indicate which airline operates their flight. Check in with that airline, even if you are flying from an airport served by both America West and US Airways. Airport signage will be in place to direct customers.
* Miles from both programs earned both before and after the merger will be honored. For those customers with a membership in both programs, unused miles will be automatically combined in early 2006 under the new Dividend Miles program.


A friend of mine called to tell me that they had a parade in the main concourse in Charlotte complete with clowns. I'm assuming by "clowns" he meant upper management had joined in the festivities.

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"I'm assuming by "clowns" he meant upper management" LOL