Company Watch - US Airways.
US Airways continues to press merger with American Airlines. Although US Airways has not made a formal offer to merge with American Airlines, US Airways has negotiated labor contracts with American's unions and could approach creditors as well. "I have to believe that American's executive team is taking this very seriously and is rethinking many things regarding the restructuring. US Airways is making it incredibly difficult for them," said William Swelbar, an aviation research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. May 14, 2012
American Airlines pilots see $130 million savings from US Airways merger. The lead labor negotiator for AMR Corp American Airlines pilots said a merger between AMR and competitor US Airways could save $130 million a year in cuts to bankrupt airline's pilots' union. Neal Roghair, testifying in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, said a merger would lower to about $240 million the projected annual cuts from the Allied Pilots' Association, which represents 10,000 pilots at American Airlines' bankrupt parent. Roghair took the stand to kick off the second leg of a weeks-long hearing on AMR's effort to scrap its collective bargaining agreements and implement temporary unilateral work terms. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in November, said it needs about $1.25 billion in annual labor concessions, and has proposed a business plan to achieve those savings that has left its unions livid. AMR argued its case last month, saying its three primary unions had rejected consensual contract offers in bad faith. The sides took a two-week break designed to foster further negotiations, a hiatus that proved f utile. The airline's unions now have their chance to argue against the proposed contract abrogation. The allied pilots said AMR's plan demands an average of $370 million a year in cuts from their union. Merging with US Airways -- a plan supported by US Airways and by AMR's three unions -- would cut that number to about $240 million, Roghair said. AMR attorney Neal Mollen countered during cross-examination that the pilots' union offered concessions to US Airways it was not willing to offer AMR, including a six-year contract term and more flexibility for the airline to send certain flights through regional partners. But Roghair said US Airways representatives took a cooperative approach, while AMR focused narrowly on dollars-and-cents issue of cost-savings targets. "It was very clear in (US Airways) negotiations that we were in a whole different environment," Roghair said. "Things moved quickly as opposed to going on for months and months." "While American's proposal is specific and detailed so that we know the real values, the so-called agreement with US Airways is based on a term sheet that does not include specifics" of how savings would be reached, Bruce Hicks, an American Airlines spokesman, said after the hearing. AMR is looking to utilize a bankruptcy rule that allows debtors to scrap union contracts if they can show a clear financial need, and can demonstrate that unions unreasonably shunned attempts at consensual work-outs. If successful, AMR would impose temporary unilateral work terms as it continues to negotiate long-term cooperative deals. Unions say the move should be allowed only after AMR has explored a possible deal with US Airways. "There may come a time when we have to take our medicine, and I think we're prepared for that," Edgar James, a lawyer for the pilots' union, said at the hearing. AMR, which had resolved to pursue a standalone restructuring plan, on Friday bowed to pressure from unions, saying it would consider the idea of a merger while it is still in bankruptcy. Along with the Allied Pilots, two unions are slated to call witnesses over the next several days: the Transport Workers Union, representing ground workers and other officials, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The TWU has sent AMR's business plan to its members for five days of voting that was slated to end on Monday. The bankruptcy is In re AMR Corp et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463. May 14, 2012
US Airways Education Foundation Seeks 2012 Non-Profit Grant Applicants. The US Airways (LCC) Education Foundation is currently accepting 2012 grant applicants for its Community Education Grant Program. The Education Foundation, which provides college scholarships to dependents of US Airways employees and education grants to non-profits, will award multiple grants of $10,000 each to non-profit organizations in the airline's hub cities Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix and its focus city in Washington D.C. Eligibility requirements include educational programs for children ages 18 and younger that focus on learning and academic achievement for economically disadvantaged or developmentally disabled children and programs that increase student interest and academic achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Non-profit organizations interested in applying for a Community Education Grant are invited to visit www.usairways.com/corporategiving under the US Airways Education Foundation section to review the complete guidelines and submit an electronic application. The application deadline is Friday, July 1. Since the Education Foundation's inception in 1990, nearly $3.8 million in grants and college scholarships have been awarded, including more than 1,400 scholarships to dependents of US Airways employees. The amount of annual funding is subject to change from year to year and is solely dependent on funds raised in the previous year. The Foundation is funded entirely by fundraising events and individual donations and as US Airways underwrites all the Foundation's expenses, 100 percent of all contributions directly support the Foundation's programs. The 2012 US Airways Education Foundation fundraisers include the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Suitcase Soiree on May 17 at Lincoln Financial Field, the 1st Annual Charlotte Suitcase Soiree on Sept. 27 and the 19th Annual Phoenix Golf Tournament on Nov. 2. May 14, 2012
Ancillary revenue, capacity restraint help US Airways offset fuel spike. Discipline in capacity growth and ancillary revenue will continue to help US Airways counteract soaring fuel prices, Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom said. The airline generates ancillary revenue by charging for luggage. He also noted that he expects that Ogrowth is going to be very limited in the U.S. marketplace as a whole.O May 15, 2012
US Airways Dividend Miles to Help "Keep America Beautiful" Through "Miles of Hope" Program. US Airways today welcomed a new partner to its Miles of Hope program with the addition of the national nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful. Miles of Hope gives members of the airline's frequent flyer program, Dividend Miles, the opportunity to donate their unused miles to five nonprofit organizations. (Logo:E http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120103/LA28814LOGO) Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is the nation's largest volunteer-based community improvement organization. KAB's network of more than 3 million volunteers and more than 1,200 organizations serve their communities through beautifying public lands, implementing local recycling programs, restoring vacant lots, preventing and removing graffiti, planting trees and creating community gardens. "US Airways is thrilled to partner with Keep America Beautiful by providing an option for our Dividend Miles members to support grassroots environmental initiatives," said US Airways Director, Community Relations Kelly Balthazor. "Through this collaboration, US Airways and our Dividend Miles members will help more than 15,000 communities facilitate thousands of clean-up events, recycling drives, tree plantings and beautification programs that help make our communities better places to live, work and play." To celebrate this new partnership, US Airways will match mileage donations to all five Miles of Hope partners. From April 9 through May 7, US Airways will make a 1,000-mile donation, up to 25,000 miles, for every 5,000 miles donated to any of the national nonprofit organizations served by Miles of Hope. Donated miles help each Miles of Hope partner fulfill their mission. The five partners include: The American Red Cross [ETH] uses donated miles to transport disaster relief workers and support important disaster preparedness trainings that further develop the skills and expertise needed to respond to a major disaster; Mercy Medical Airlift [ETH] provides long-distance medical air transport for all medically indigent, low-income and financially vulnerable patients using donated miles; Fisher House Foundation [ETH] reunites wounded, injured and ill military members and their loved ones to directly promote the continued healing process of our military heroes;E Keep America Beautiful [ETH] donated miles will provide travel to KAB staff and volunteers, supporting more than 1,200 organizations serve their communities and local environments and Make-A-Wish Foundation[umlaut] [ETH] uses donated miles to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Nearly 900 million miles have been donated since the Miles of Hope program began in 1998. Mileage donations are accepted in 1,000 mile increments. Dividend Miles members can visit http://www.usairways.com/donatemiles to donate their miles or learn more about the Miles of Hope program. Customers who are currently not Dividend Miles members can also sign up at www.usairways.com. In addition to its Miles of Hope program, US Airways fulfills its commitment to support its communities through support of a broad range of nonprofit organizations and employees' involvement through volunteerism and service on nonprofit boards. In 2011, this investment of time and philanthropic gifts totaled more than $7 million. To learn more about US Airways Community Relations, visit www.usairways.com/corporategiving. May 15, 2012
US Airways Gives One Million Reasons to Book a Walt Disney World[umlaut] Resort Vacation Package. US Airways is offering customers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win one million Dividend Miles and a VIP Disney vacation for four just for booking their air and hotel package to the Walt Disney World[umlaut] Resort this summer with US Airways Vacations. Customers are automatically entered to win the grand prize when they book a US Airways Vacations package with airfare to any qualifying Walt Disney World Resort between April 9 and June 4, 2012 for travel through 2012. Grand prize includes: One million Dividend Miles; Four First Class US Airways tickets from within the contiguous U.S. to Orlando, Fla.;
Four nights of accommodations in a select Disney Resort; One VIP tour at each park for four persons; Four Park Hopper[umlaut] tickets and a $500 Disney Gift Card. "US Airways is making it an even easier decision to book a fun-filled family vacation to the Walt Disney World[umlaut] Resort this year with the Million Miles Giveaway," said Chris Ames, director of US Airways Vacations. "Customers can save every day by combining low fares for flights and great savings to the Walt Disney World[umlaut] Resort with US Airways, and if they win the sweepstakes they can travel over and over again!" Customers can also enter the sweepstakes up to once a day without making a purchase by visiting usairwaysvacations.com/millionmiles and completing the online registration form. To be eligible for the sweepstakes, customers must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid Dividend Miles account number. Customers can join the Dividend Miles program free at www.dividendmiles.com. May 15, 2012
"Snapback" contracts at US Airways may pose challenge for a merger. US Airways' labor contracts could present a challenge for a possible merger with American Airlines. When US Airways went through bankruptcy in 2002, labor contracts included a "snapback" provision that allowed wages to go back to previous levels if there was a change in control at the airline. May 17, 2012
US Airways Announces Executive Promotions in Revenue Management and Finance. US Airways today announced the promotion of Tom Trenga to the position of senior vice president, revenue management and Devon May to the position of vice president, financial planning and analysis. Both appointments have been approved by the airline's Board of Directors. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120103/LA28814LOGO) Tom Trenga [ETH] Senior Vice President, Revenue Management As Senior Vice President, Revenue Management, Trenga will continue to oversee the airline's revenue management functions, including pricing and tariffs, yield management and revenue analysis. In this role, Trenga will continue to report to President Scott Kirby. "Tom has been instrumental in developing programs that have helped the airline prosper during these economically challenging times," said Kirby. "We are very pleased to recognize the significant contributions he has made to our company and we look forward to seeing him continue to build on his successes as a leader." Trenga began his career with US Airways in 1996 as a senior analyst in capacity planning with America West Airlines and most recently served as vice president, revenue management. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Devon May [ETH] Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis Devon May assumes the role of vice president, financial planning and analysis. In this new position approved by the Board of Directors, May will continue to manage financial planning, fleet and labor analysis and flight profitability for the airline. He will continue to report to Senior Vice President, Finance Keith Bush. "Devon is a proven leader and we are very pleased to recognize the extensive contributions he has made to our finance organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to our company," said Bush.E EEE May joined US Airways in 2002 as a capacity planning manager with America West Airlines and most recently served as managing director, financial planning and analysis. He has previously held director roles in route planning, financial planning and financial analysis. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. and his Bachelor of Management in Finance from the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta. May 17, 2012
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