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US Airways says 'thanks': Another shafting ahead?

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Thank you, US Airways, may we have another?!

That seems to be the early reaction of Allegheny County officials learning that the airline with a rich history of delivering a splintered shaft to its public benefactors appears to be whittling a brand-new thank you.

Two decades ago, the county was snookered into building new billion-dollar airport terminals to US Airways' specification only to have the airline “de-hub” Pittsburgh in 2004.

To show that it wouldn't stand for such shabby treatment, Allegheny County put up its dukes — throwing more than $16 million in new public subsidies to US Airways to build a $25 million flight operations center in Moon Township. It opened in late 2008. Long-term benefits were assured, we were told.

Now, US Airways appears ready to abandon that facility. When it merges with American Airlines, the Moon facility very well could be mothballed in favor of American's Dallas flight-ops center.

But have no fear, Allegheny County officials won't take the slap sitting down; they'll stand tall and are considering offering the new American more incentives to not only keep the facility here but massively expand it to trump Dallas.

Sorry, folks, but the insane are running the asylum. And it's time to fight back against CEO Doug Parker and his merry band of pickpocketing charlatans. Should US Airways/American indeed abandon Moon, it should be billed for the public subsidies and the value of the 20-year lease it will abandon. And if it balks, take 'em to court.

Enough really is enough.

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