US Airways, American urged to not cut jobs, air service in state by Sen. Casey
Two weeks after US Airways and American Airlines announced plans to merge, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey urged the carriers not to cut jobs or air service in Pennsylvania.
Casey, a Democrat from Scranton, released a letter on Wednesday that he wrote to American CEO Thomas Horton and US Airways CEO Doug Parker asking them to “maintain” the air carriers' combined 1,900 jobs in Southwest Pennsylvania. US Airways accounts for 1,820 of those positions.
The senator asked the carriers to extend US Airways' maintenance hangar lease at Pittsburgh International Airport beyond its expiration in 2015 to reassure workers who might be worried about losing their jobs.
Casey urged the airlines not to cut flights serving Pennsylvania markets and to consider adding flights from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“I ask that you consider preserving overlapping routes that are currently served by both carriers to avoid reduction in air service levels, particularly into the New York market,” Casey's letter read.
In response to Casey's letter, US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie wrote in an email that the merged carriers “will offer improved service” through 558 daily departures from eight Pennsylvania cities. He did not specifically address plans for New York service or for aircraft maintenance facilities, saying such details are “premature to discuss.”
The long-expected merger, announced Feb. 14, will create the world's largest airline by combining fifth-largest US Airways with third-largest American, which first must exit bankruptcy. Annual revenue would top $40 billion.
US Airways' Parker, who would become chief executive of the merged carrier, said there would not be “any major layoffs” from combining the two airlines. They expect to cut combined costs by about $150 million but have not detailed those savings.
The new American Airlines would operate more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.
Still the dominant airline at Pittsburgh International, US Airways operates 42 daily flights from Pittsburgh, including service to New York's LaGuardia Airport. American operates 13 a day, including service to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
US Airways employs more than 600 mechanics and related maintenance workers at Pittsburgh International, Another 600 work at the airline's flight operations control center in Moon, which coordinates the carrier's more than 3,000 daily flights systemwide.
“Preserving jobs at the maintenance facility, operations control center and Pittsburgh International Airport is of the utmost importance for the regional economy,” wrote Casey.
US Airways and American cannot combine their operations until after their merger deal is completed, which they anticipate will occur sometime in the July-October quarter. Then the two carriers would take well over a year to integrate their operations into one airline.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Stocks drop as Greece falters, crude oil rises
- Kennametal posts loss on restructuring, lower sales
- Weavertown Environmental’s female CEO doesn’t think in terms of gender
- Mylan to take buyout bid to Perrigo shareholders
- Salaried workers’ overtime rule eyed
- Washington Health buying Southwest Regional Medical Center in Waynesburg
- March trade deficit swells 43% to 6-year high
- Monitoring apps allow children to keep tabs on aging parents via smartphone
- Continued education for therapists key to TEIS success
- Proposed rule on noise limits for oil, gas sites in Pa. pleases none
- First Niagara CEO says regulators are reviewing remediation plan for internal issue