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Category Archives: US Airways

American Airlines Group reports a record third quarter net profit of $1.2 billion

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today reported its third quarter 2014 results.

Third quarter 2014 net profit, excluding net special charges, was a record $1.2 billion, up 59 percent versus the third quarter 2013

Third quarter 2014 GAAP net profit was $942 million, a record for any quarter in the history of American Airlines

Returned $185 million to shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock through the Company’s stock repurchase program

Declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on November 17, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014

For the third quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $942 million. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $289 million in the third quarter 2013 for AMR Corporation prior to the merger.

The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. On this basis, third quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was a record $1.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share. This represents a 59 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $771 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. The Company’s third quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special charges was 11 percent. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

“We are very pleased to have reported a record profit for each quarter so far in 2014,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “We anticipate we will also post a record profit for both the fourth quarter and full year 2014. This performance reflects the strength of our merger and the commitment of our team. Our over 100,000 team members are doing an excellent job of integrating our airlines and providing outstanding service to our customers. While some of the biggest tasks in our integration still lie before us, the significant accomplishments to date reinforce our confidence that we are well on our way to restoring American as the world’s greatest airline. Thanks to our team, American is in excellent position for success in 2015 and beyond.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenues in the third quarter were a record $11.1 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 2.0 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was a record at 14.12 cents, up 1.0 percent versus the third quarter 2013 on a combined basis, driven by a record yield of 16.93 cents, up 2.6 percent year-over-year.

Total operating expenses in the third quarter were $9.9 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over combined third quarter 2013. Third quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.28 cents, up 1.3 percent on a 2.1 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was up 0.7 percent compared to the combined third quarter 2013, at 8.35 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.52 cents, up 3.7 percent on a 1.0 percent increase in regional ASMs versus combined third quarter 2013.

Liquidity and Financing Transactions

At September 30, 2014, American had approximately $8.8 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $875 million was restricted. The Company also had an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion.

During the third quarter, the Company Issued $957 million principal amount of 2014-1 Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETC) at a blended interest rate of 3.8 percent and issued $750 million principal amount of 5.5 percent senior unsecured notes due in 2019.

Also in the third quarter, the Company returned $185 million to its shareholders through the payment of $72 million in quarterly dividends and the repurchase of $113 million of common stock, or 2.9 million shares. The Company also purchased approximately 432,000 shares from its Disputed Claims Reserve at the prevailing market price to satisfy certain tax obligations resulting from the July 1, 2014, distribution.

As of September 30, 2014, $721 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.41 bolivars to the dollar. The Company’s cash balance held in Venezuelan bolivars decreased $70 million from the June 30, 2014, balance of $791 million, due primarily to $48 million in repatriations in the third quarter of 2014 ($31 million valued at 6.3 bolivars to the dollar and $17 million valued at 10.6 bolivars to the dollar). This balance also reflects the Company’s significant reduction in capacity in this market, pending further repatriation of funds and due to a decrease in demand for air travel resulting from the effective devaluation of the bolivar. The Company continues to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.

In early October, the Company arranged a new credit facility consisting of a fully-drawn $750 million term loan that matures in October 2021 and an undrawn $400 million revolving credit facility that matures in October 2019. Collateral for the new credit facility consists of certain slots, gates and route authorities. Also in early October, the Company increased its existing $1 billion revolving credit facility by $400 million and extended its maturity date from June 2018 to October 2019. As a result of these transactions, the Company’s undrawn revolving credit facility is now $1.8 billion.

On October 22, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of November 3, 2014. The dividend will be paid on November 17, 2014.

Merger Integration Developments

Reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants on a joint collective bargaining agreement covering more than 24,000 flight attendants at American and US Airways. This agreement is pending ratification by the flight attendants

Recalibrated the schedule at our Miami hub to increase the number of available connections and optimize revenue

Combined operations at 82 airports since the merger, including the Company’s hub at Chicago O’Hare

Broke ground on our new state of the art Robert W. Baker Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, with completion planned for the third quarter of 2015

American flight attendants began exclusively using an electronic flight attendant manual on a handheld tablet, making the documents easier to access for flight attendants and reducing weight on each aircraft. US Airways flight attendants will begin using eManuals after the two carriers achieve a single operating certificate next year

Rebranded nine Admirals Club® lounges at eight airports, including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Boston Logan Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Tampa International Airport

Fleet and Network Developments

As part of its plan to modernize its fleet, the Company took delivery of 22 new mainline aircraft during the third quarter

US Airways became fully integrated in the trans-Atlantic joint business by launching a codeshare agreement with Finnair, providing customers increased access to Helsinki and beyond

Applied for new international service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing. This will be the Company’s 11th route between the U.S. and Asia

Special Items

In the third quarter, the Company recognized a total of $281 million in net special charges, including:

$223 million net special operating charges, which principally included $168 million of mainline and regional merger integration expenses and an $81 million charge to revise prior estimates of certain aircraft residual values. These charges were offset, in part, by a net $40 million credit for bankruptcy related items consisting of fair value adjustments for bankruptcy settlement obligations
$50 million of nonoperating items, primarily due to early debt extinguishment costs related to American’s 7.5 percent senior secured notes and other debt
$8 million in non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now repainting its fleet, including the older Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-23N N203UW (msn 30548) taxies at the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

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American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo today are now using the same air waybill, another step in the merger process

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have reached a significant milestone in their merger today as the cargo divisions combined under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800 million each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually.

The cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Another step in the repainting process at US Airways is the pictured Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) in the legacy 1966 Allegheny Airlines markings now has American titles.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:

APA meets with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and will not agree to any Scope concessions

Allied Pilots Association logo

Allied Pilots Association-APA (Dallas/Fort Worth), representing the pilots of American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued this statement about its meeting with CEO Doug Parker and its concern about any Scope concessions:

The newly expanded APA board of directors — with duly designated chairmen and vice chairmen from CLT, PHL and PHX — is convening this week for the first time.

As a board, we are united concerning Scope. We understand and share your concerns prompted by senior management’s recent comments about our industry-standard 76-seat limit on regional affiliate aircraft. Management has indicated a desire to dilute that limitation and obtain a below-industry-standard Scope Clause in the ongoing joint collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

This afternoon (October 8), the full APA board met with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Our conversation with Mr. Parker was frank and cordial and covered a wide range of items. Foremost among them: We informed him that APA will not agree to any Scope concessions. Our actions now concerning Scope will help define the profession for the balance of our careers and for the next generation of aviators, and we are committed to securing industry-leading pay and work rules.

With the merger of American Airlines and US Airways succeeding beyond the most optimistic forecasts, management needs to address APA’s priorities concerning quality of life, work rules, and pay and benefits. Our pilots’ sacrifices, our efforts on the merger’s behalf and the vital role we play in the airline’s success must be appropriately acknowledged.

American Airlines launches its month-long “Be Pink” campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research

American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) will launch its annual “Be Pink” campaign, a month-long, employee-led initiative to raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness. This year’s Be Pink campaign marks the first time the combined company has joined forces for the cause. Throughout the month of October, more than 100,000 American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) team members will don pink uniform items, serve customers with Be Pink-branded items and lace up their tennis shoes for local walks and events to support the fight against cancer.

Customers will have the opportunity to join the company’s Be Pink efforts with special offers to promote awareness and action against breast cancer, which accounts for one in eight of newly diagnosed cancers among women. During the month of October a minimum $25 donation to American’s Miles for the Cure® program will earn AAdvantage® members 20 bonus miles, instead of 10, for each dollar contributed. Donations can be made at aa.com/BePink.

When customers travel on American during October, they will see pink from the time they book tickets on aa.com, to when they pick up their baggage at their final destination. Employees will be sporting Be Pink uniform items and many of them will be part of awareness teams to raise funds through their participation in local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events. The company’s websites, in-flight American Way magazine, napkins, in-flight menus, cabin messages, complimentary in-flight lemonade and even some boarding passes will “go pink” to serve as symbols of American employees’ determination to find a cure for breast cancer.

American has supported the fight against breast cancer for more than 30 years and is the Official Airline of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. In 2013, American and US Airways raised more than half a million dollars to support the cause through the generosity of employees, customers and corporate contributions. Visit American’s Join Us In Causes That Matter page on aa.com to learn more about how you can join the company’s efforts to create a world without breast cancer.

Miles for the Cure® and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® are registered trademarks of Susan G. Komen.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N759AN (msn 32638) with the special “Susan G. Komen” pink ribbon markings departs from Los Angeles in the now old 1968 livery.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group pays renewed homage to the original Pacific Southwest Airlines

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has repainted the pictured US Airways Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) now with American titles. The Group is proud of its heritage logo jets and is also proud to remember its honored past. The group intends to have additional heritage jets (including TWA) for most of its heritage airlines that are now in the new and expanded American Airlines family tree (below).

The original Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (San Diego) operated from 1949 to 1988.

In other news, the continued negotiations for a combined pilot seniority list continues for the new American Airlines with some calling for America West pilots to be included in the negotiations.

This article by Ted Reed in Forbes details the on-going negotiations for a fair seniority list. Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) in the 1977 livery of PSA and now with American titles departs from the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (1st): AG Slide Show

Photos of the original PSA via YouTube:

Family Tree: Courtesy of American Airlines (aircraft images from AirlinersGallery.com):

AA Heritage timeline poster - FINAL - 24x36.pdf

US Airways puts its first American branded Airbus A330 into revenue service

US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) has painted its first Airbus A330 in the American Airlines‘ 2013 livery. Airbus A330-323 N270AY (msn 315) was painted at Amarillo, Texas and was delivered to the Philadelphia hub on September 18, 2014. The first revenue service was from Philadelphia (PHL) to London (Heathrow) on September 19 followed by Venice on September 20.

The aircraft operated to Dublin, Ireland on September 21 arriving the next day. Today N270AY is pictured departing from Dublin for the return journey back to Philadelphia.

US Airways next will repaint the PSA heritage Airbus A319 with American titles.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and US Airways Passenger Service Agents vote to join the Teamsters-CWA Association

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways‘ (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) passenger service agents have voted to join the CWA-IBT Customer Service Employee Association. This is another step towards the final merger. The union issued this statement:

In a vote announced today by the National Mediation Board (NMB), more than 15,000 passenger service professionals at the newly-merged American-US Airways have voted to join the CWA-IBT Customer Service Employee Association. The joint effort to organize passenger service agents was led by Communication Workers of American (CWA) which will represent about 7,500 new members; 1,300 new members will be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Agents at both airlines voted over the phone and online in a month-long election administered by the NMB. The results were tallied and it was announced today that the workers had voted for the CWA-IBT Association by a 6-to-1 margin.

“We are honored to represent a total of more than 3,000 passenger service agents at the New American Airlines,” said Teamsters Airline Division Director David Bourne. “The Teamsters are committed to providing American Airlines employees and our existing members at US Airways with strong representation as both airlines continue to integrate in this merger.”

Prior to its merger with American Airlines, US Airways’ passenger service agents were represented by CWA in the east with approximately 4,700 members and by the Teamsters in the west with about 1,800 members. The shared representation was the result of US Airways’ merger in 2005 with America West Airlines whose customer service agents were Teamsters. US Airways’ latest merger with American Airlines, whose agents were nonunion, led to an election to determine representation for all agents at the newly-merged carrier.

“With our partners in CWA, the Teamsters are leading the way in protecting airline professionals involved in the biggest airline merger in history,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “Our union is dedicated to fighting on behalf of workers in this volatile industry. Our new members at the combined American-US Airways now have two of the strongest airline unions in their corner.”

American Airlines agents who have won representation for the first time are concerned about outsourcing, job security, fair work rules and having a strong contract. The agents know from experience how vulnerable they are without representation. American’s 2011 bankruptcy led to layoffs, outsourced job titles, and sharp cuts in pay and benefits for those who kept their jobs.

“I can’t tell you how great this victory is for us,” said Debra Ewing, a 15-year US Airways agent in Phoenix, Arizona. “American Airlines customer service agents have tried for over 20 years to gain representation and the merger with US Airways allowed the Teamsters to step in and bring home a win. This means an end to so much outsourcing for American agents who will regain profit-sharing, shift differentials, a three-tiered medical plan, paid vacation and more. That’s what union representation is – and now we all have it.”

Agents at US Airways have enjoyed strong representation for years and are looking forward to having an even stronger voice in the merger process with 9,000 new agents at American strengthening their association.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways Airbus A319-112 N701UW (msn 890) departs from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) painted in American Airlines 2013 colors.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines and US Airways to combine cargo operations on October 20

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) are merging its cargo operations on October 20. The Group has issued this letter to its cargo customers:

Dear Cargo Customer

Nine months ago, the merger between American Airlines and US Airways became official. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world. The cargo team has been working hard to plan for a seamless transition and I thank you for your patience and loyalty during this time.

The objective of our integration has been to bring together the expertise, solutions, and teams you’ve relied on from both cargo organizations into the industry’s most customer-focused airfreight partner. I am proud to share with you that on Monday, October 20, 2014, we will take the largest step toward this goal by becoming one cargo organization and transitioning to a single air waybill using the American Airlines prefix 001.

While you will be seeing more information over the next few weeks, I’d like to share the following important details now:

We will transition to accepting a single air waybill (001) for all new shipments originating on or after October 20.

All American Airlines and US Airways booking channels will still be available to you, including our customer contact centers and aacargo.com, and will allow you to book 001 air waybills across both networks for flights on October 20th and beyond.

For shipments originating between now and October 19, please continue to use US Airways (037) and American Airlines (001) air waybills when booking, tendering, and recovering shipments with each respective airline.

The combination of our networks is only the beginning of many exciting changes built around your needs. With initiatives like e-freight, a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility in Philadelphia, and 70 new widebody and hundreds of narrowbody aircraft on the way, we are modernizing the cargo business with you in mind.

Our most important goal is to ensure a smooth experience for you and your extended team. In the coming weeks, you will receive more details about what this transition means and how you can best take advantage of the benefits. You can also find the latest updates any time on aacargo.com.

Thank you again for your business and we look forward to partnering with you as one cargo team very soon.

Sincerely

Jim W. Butler
President, American Airlines Cargo

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N700UW (msn 885) of US Airways operating in American colors arrives in Washington at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American-US Airways pilots agree on a protocol for pilot seniority integration, will it lead to a final list?

U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) (and the pilots of the former America West Airlines) (Phoenix), stated it has reached a tentative agreement on a protocol with the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing the pilots of American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). The tentative agreement lays out a process for the seniority integration of the two pilot groups according to The Street.

However according to article by Forbes, the previous bitter split between US Airways (East) pilots and America West (West) pilots at US Airways, could reemerge as work continues on a final seniority list. Will the new American Airlines inherit the seven-year old US Airways-America West pilot dispute? Forbes explores this question.

Read the full interesting article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Freshly repainted with new American titles, US Airways’ Airbus A319-132 N838AW (msn 2615) painted in America West’s 2005 heritage livery, taxies to the gate at the Charlotte hub. N838AW symbolizes this hot button issue better than any other AA-US aircraft.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

America West Airlines: AG Slide Show

Jay Selman’s An Inside Look: Farewell to 406

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Farewell to 406

by Guest Editor Jay Selman

In over 50 years, I have lost count of how many airplane flights I have taken. I’ve flown on airliners, military airplanes, corporate jets, private aircraft, and helicopters. I’ve flown in just about every airliner from the Comet to the Concorde. I’ve flown from Greensboro, North Carolina to Winston-Salem, a 7-minute (maybe) hop, and I’ve flown from New York to Hong Kong. I’m saying this to say that I have taken some memorable flights, but the vast majority of the airplanes I’ve flown in don’t stick in my mind.

One flight that I do vividly remember occurred on September 15, 1988, when I flew on N406US (man 23876), from Boeing Field in Seattle to Greensboro, North Carolina. 406 was a Piedmont Airlines Boeing 737-401, just one of well over 12,000 737s that have been built or are on order. What made it special was the fact that it was the first 737-400 in the world to be delivered to a customer, and I was privileged to be on that delivery flight, 26 years ago.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88-1st 737-400)(Grd) BFI (JET)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jim “Jet” Thompson. Boeing 737-401 N406US is towed out at Boeing Field on a cloudy Seattle day with a special “First Boeing 737-400″ banner.

Piedmont was one of the early operators of the 737-300, a vastly-upgraded version of the venerable 737-200. Powered by a pair of CFM-56 engines, the 737-300 represented a tremendous advantage in terms of economy, power, and lowered noise levels inside and outside the cabin. The -300 was an immediate hit with airlines and passengers. A year after the first -300 entered service, Boeing offered the -400, featuring a 10-foot fuselage stretch over the -300. Needing a replacement for its fleet of aging 727-200s, Piedmont became the launch customer for the -400, with an initial order for 25. In 1987, USAir announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Piedmont. 20 737-400s of Piedmont’s original order were delivered, and USAir ordered an additional 35 of the type and, in all, the company eventually operated 55 737-400s.

By the time that 406, named the Thomas H Davis Pacemaker in honor of the founder of Piedmont Airlines, was ready to leave her nest in Seattle, Piedmont was heading toward a merger with USAir, and she was delivered in a hybrid color scheme of a bare metal fuselage and a Piedmont blue cheat line. As a useless bit of trivia, only four Piedmont 737-400s were delivered with a blue stripe: 406, 407, 408, and 409. The rest came on property with the red USAir cheat line.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88)(Ldg) CLT (JS)(LRW) 10.88

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US wears the Piedmont metal transition livery as it lands in Charlotte.

Boeing did a nice job of catering the first-ever delivery of a -400, and there was cause for celebration. It was, indeed, an historic event. Yet, the mood among most of the Piedmont people was a bit subdued, as reality set in that the company we loved was on its way toward non-existence. William Howard had recently stepped down as President and CEO of Piedmont, and his replacement, Tom Schick, was onboard, along with a number of other airline dignitaries, most of whom were, for all practical purposes, in a lame-duck environment. 406 was even delivered with a USAir registration, rather than its originally-allocated N404P. While it was still an historic and exciting moment, there was not complete joy.

For me, the highlight of the entire flight was after we landed in Greensboro. As we came to a stop, I looked out the window and saw Piedmont founder Tom Davis himself standing at the bottom of the airstairs. Not only was he a legend, but also a true gentleman. He also had a gift for remembering faces and names, and as I reached the bottom of the steps, he shook my hand and, without hesitation, told me, “Jay, I expect to see some good pictures of our new plane from you.” (He got some!)

On August 5, 1989, Piedmont Airlines ceased to exist, as everything Piedmont became USAir. Altogether, USAir operated 55 out of the 482 737-400s that Boeing built. Still, I always found myself smiling when I would see 406. I knew she was special. Fast forward 25 years. Years ago, under the leadership of Stephen Wolfe and Rakesh Gangwal, US Airways (as the company had since rebranded itself) elected to hitch its wagon to the Airbus narrow-body product. Slowly but surely, 737s were being replaced with a mix of Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s.

US Airways 737-400 Patches (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Metal patch on N406US.

During her time in service with Piedmont/USAir/US Airways, 406 served the company well. She was not involved with any significant incidents, although the number of patches on the fuselage suggests there may have been more than a couple of minor issues throughout her life. She did suffer some minor damage when a loading bridge came in contact with the pitot tubes and angle-of-attack indicator located just in front of the forward entry door. This was not an uncommon problem with the 737 Classics, and a loading bridge operator always has to take extra care with these model 737s. Altogether, seven different engines hung on each wing of 406, and a total of 17 auxiliary power units (APUs) were installed in the tail of 406, and over its lifetime, she underwent many B-Checks and C-Checks. These numbers are fairly consistent with the average maintenance activities of a 737 of this age. For the record, 406 was the first 737-400 to wear the final US Airways color scheme.

US Airways 737-400 N406US (05)(Apr) CLT (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice flying portrait of N406US in the final (2005) US Airways color scheme.

Her last revenue flight occurred on August 1, when she arrived from Pittsburgh at Charlotte. Maintenance personnel worked on her for three days, getting 406 ready for her last flight. Finally, early in the morning of August 5, 25 years to the day of the Piedmont/USAir merger, 406 was ready for her last flight as a US Airways-operated trip.

US Airways 737-400 Data Plate (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The original Boeing data plate.

I met Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen, who were going to do the honors of flying “Cactus 9240” from Charlotte to Tucson, Arizona. Each of them had several thousand hours in the 737, and although both of them had plenty of seniority to hold positions on the company’s “big iron”, they elected to stay on the 737 until the very end because of their love of the aircraft. Captain Thomas retired shortly after ferrying 406 to Tucson, and Captain Christen has moved on to the Boeing 757/767. They both praised the 737 as being a real “pilot’s airplane”, and will miss flying them. They were both struck by the historic significance of both aircraft 406 and the date, August 5.

US Airways 737-400 N406US pilots for final flight (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen.

As the pilots cranked the engines, it felt a little strange sitting in Row 2 of an empty airplane. Brakes were released at 9:20 am local, and Captain Thomas guided 406 to the end of Runway 36C at Charlotte. A few minutes later, Cactus 9240 was given takeoff clearance. With no passengers or cargo onboard, we were airborne in around 3000 feet at 9:27 am. 406’s final flight had begun.

US Airways 737-400 Jay in cabin (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay in the empty cabin of N406US en route to the desert.

Since this flight was operated under Part 91 rules, the pilots were permitted to leave the door of the flight deck open, and I was able to enjoy a view not only of the cockpit, but the world beyond the cockpit windows. The pilots were kind enough to take time to explain to me a lot about what goes on behind those perpetually-closed doors. They both talked about their love for the 737. Along with both of them agreeing that it is a plane that pilots fly, rather than program, they both commented on the robustness of the 737 airframe. As one of them noted, “Quite a few of our old 737s have been converted to cargo carriers, and will continue to fly for quite a few years. How many A320s have been converted to freight dogs?”

US Airways 737-400 N406US cockpit (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The cockpit of N406US.

Unlike the nicely-catered delivery flight 26 years ago, I sat alone in 406’s cabin, eating a Jersey Mike’s sub that I brought along, and drinking a bottle of water that catering left onboard after stripping the interior of any equipment that could be used on other aircraft. It gave me a chance to wander around this historic airplane and savor this one last flight in her. Truth be told, I was probably one of handful of people who really appreciated the significance of 406, but that’s okay. I was given the chance to fly on her this one last time. I am not one who keeps a log of all the planes I have flown in, but I do know that I’d flown in 406 at least a dozen times over the years.

US Airways N406US final approach TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The final “Final Approach” as US Airways for N406US.

Captain Thomas said that during her final flight, 406 performed flawlessly. She did not produce a single squawk during the flight, and every flight parameter was met or exceeded. Sooner than I would have wanted, we began our descent into Tucson, where we followed an Air Force KC-135 on visual approach to Runway 11L. Captain Thomas greased the lightly-laden 406 onto the runway at 10:09 am local time, and we then taxied back to the facilities of Ascent Aviation Services. Ascent is a premiere narrow body maintenance and storage center located at Tucson International Airport. Several ex-US Airways 737s are stored there, where they will either be readied for a new operator, or broken up and sold for parts. The fate of 406 is uncertain as of this writing. Captain Christen said that typically, a plane will sit for two or three months as their owners look for another operator. After a certain point, it will be scrapped. I would certainly like to see her fly again, as she has plenty of life left in her, but the fate of 406 has yet to be determined as of this writing.

US Airways 737-400 N406US aircraft in storage TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Aircraft in storage at Ascent Aviation Services in Tucson awaiting their fates.

At 10:15 am, Captain Thomas shut down the engines of 406 for the last time as a US Airways flight. Over nearly 26 years, she had accumulated 69967.4 total flight hours, and 47032 cycles. We climbed down the airstairs, and posed for a couple of final pictures. And that was it. The Ascent technicians hooked 406 up to a tug and towed her to a spot in between two other 737s awaiting their fates. I took one last photo of an historic plane, and a special airliner to me, and then I hopped into a truck to take me to the terminal for my flights home. This had been one flight I won’t forget.

US Airways 737-400 N406US towed into position at TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US is pushed into its storage spot at Tucson (TUS) next to a Solaseed Air Boeing 737-400 which was just retired.

Boeing 737 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Jay Selman’s Inside Look: US Airways operates the last Boeing 737 Classic revenue flight

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Guest Editor Jay Selman

An Inside Look: The End of a Classic Era

by Jay Selman

When I was hired by Piedmont Airlines (Winston-Salem) in 1981, the Boeing 737 reigned supreme. We were taking delivery of brand new Boeing 737-200s, and oh how I loved those birds. They were short and fat, and NOISY in an era when noise was still acceptable! In the early days of my airline career, I was on an airplane virtually every weekend. Those were the days when an airline could make money with a 50% load factor, and on those rare occasions when a flight did fill up, there was usually room in the cockpit for a company employee. I’d venture to say that 95% of my flights during the first 10 years of my career were in 737s.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-201 N736N (msn 19420) of Piedmont waits for its next assignment at Atlanta. The -200 is painted in the original 1974 livery.

By 1985, the 737-300 had joined the Piedmont fleet. Although it still had the 737 designation, it seemed to be a whole new animal. Those CFM-56 engines were massive compared to the JT-8Ds on the -200s, and the 737-300 promised significant increases in payload and range, as well as significant reductions in fuel burn. Oh yes, and they were QUIET. In fact, a common complaint among crewmembers flying the -300 was that they had to lower their voices so that passengers would not join in their conversations. The cockpits of Piedmont’s -300s still had the old “steam gauges” but they also had greatly improved avionics, and even a lovely feature called “Autoland”, which the company was never actually certified to use.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-301 N307P (msn 23259) of Piedmont wears the updated white top 1974 color scheme.

Piedmont was the launch customer for the Boeing 737-400, essentially a stretched -300, and in September, 1988, I had the good fortune to fly on the delivery flight of N406US, the first 737-400 in the world to be delivered by Boeing.

 

Copyright Photo: Nigel P. Chalcraft/AirlinersGallery.com. The first delivered -400, Boeing 737-401 N406US (msn 23876) taxies at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood in the bare metal 1988 livery.

At one time, Piedmont was able to claim the title of the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 737. No wonder I had a love affair with the Seven Three throughout my career in the airline industry.

In 1989, Piedmont and USAir merged and I was now working for USAir. The merger brought a large number of different aircraft types to my company, but I still loved the 737.

 

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Suddenly the Piedmont name and brand were going way. USAir later gave way to US Airways as a brand.

Then in 1997, USAir CEO Steven Wolf shocked the aviation community by announcing an order for up to 400 narrow-body Airbus aircraft. Ultimately, this would reduce the composition of the company’s narrow-body fleet to one basic type (the A319, A320, and A321 are all the same basic airplane).

The handwriting was on the wall for the USAir (later US Airways) 737s…in fact, all of the narrow body aircraft operated by USAir. With respect to the 737s, the dwindling fleet of 737-200s was parked following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, while the last of the -300s was retired in 2013. Finally, on August 19, 2014, N435US operated the final flight of a US Airways 737, appropriately designated as flight US 737.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. There are now no longer any US Airways 737 Classics operating out of the Charlotte hub. N406US landed at CLT with 43515 cycles and approximately 65405.45 hours. The airliner was a trusted performer for the carrier and has now been retired to the desert.

“Cactus 737”, its ATC callsign, flew from Charlotte to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Philadelphia and back to Charlotte on August 19, and I was able to fly all three legs on it. US Airways elected to keep the event low-key, since, after all, the “new American Airlines” is currently operating over 230 Next-Generation 737-800s, and will eventually own a fleet of over 300 of the type. But what made the trip special for me was the fact that the pilot in command, Captain Jeff Tarr, was also flying his last trip as an airline pilot.

US Airways 737-400 N435US at the gate (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The end of an era. N435US sits at the gate, unlikely to carry passengers again.

 

When Cactus 737 pulled into Gate D7 at 9:48 pm at CLT, there was no real fanfare for the airplane, but there was plenty of recognition for Captain Tarr.

US Airways 737-400 Captain Jeff Tarr and F-O Robert Channell (JS)(LRW)

 

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Pictured in the cockpit of N435US is Captain Jeff Tarr (left) and F/O Robert Channell (right). This also was Jeff’s retirement flight.

And, after all, that is the way it should be. Too often, an airline is defined by its aircraft, or its color scheme, or its catch phrase. But what should REALLY define an airline is it’s employees. For most of us who have been in this industry for any length of time, it’s more than a job…it’s a way of life. Most of us who have been here for awhile began working in the days when we were envied for our status as airline employees. We remember hearing, “You have one of the best jobs in the world,” rather than, “I wouldn’t have your job for anything in the world.” An airline is about people, and not just airplanes.
 Having said that, the Boeing 737 has been part of the airline I work for during my entire 33-year career. Admittedly, the Airbus offers many advantages to the passenger than the old 737 Classic. And, of course, once the merger is complete, I will, again, be working for a company that will be operating 300+ Next-Generation 737s.

US Flt 737 Crew (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The proud crew of flight US 737 that operated the flight from DFW to PHL and finally to CLT.

 

In my personal opinion, an Airbus simply cannot compare to a Boeing in terms of useful life and ruggedness. Why do I say this? Just consider this fact. There are still plenty of 737s around with 30+ years on their airframes. Many still haul passengers, while countless others have been converted to freight dogs. I have no idea how many 737s have been converted to cargo carriers, but I can tell you exactly how many A320s have been.
 So, vive la 737. You’ve given me a great ride.

 

Piedmont Airlines (1st): AG Slide Show

USAir: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American and US Airways to end first class meals for flights under 3 hours

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) (American Airlines Group) are ending meal service for its first class passengers for flights under three hours according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Snacks only “service” will start on September 1.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N801NN (msn 29565) approaches the runway at New York (JFK).

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group reports a record second quarter net profit of $864 million

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) today reported its second quarter 2014 results:

Second quarter 2014 non-GAAP net profit excluding net special charges was $1.5 billion, a record for any quarter in the history of American Airlines

Second quarter 2014 GAAP net profit was a record $864 million

The Company also announced a capital deployment program, including over $2.8 billion in debt and aircraft lease prepayments, a $1 billion share repurchase program, the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend, and $600 million of additional pension contributions

As part of the program, American’s Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of August 4, 2014. The cash dividend is the first declared by American since 1980

For the second quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $864 million. This compares to a GAAP net profit of $220 million in the second quarter 2013, for AMR Corporation prior to the merger. The Company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways excluding special charges and on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group.

On this basis, second quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special charges was $1.5 billion, a record for any quarter in the history of the Company. This represents a 114 percent improvement over the combined non-GAAP net profit of $681 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

“We are very pleased to report the highest quarterly profit in the history of American Airlines,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “Our merger is off to a great start and our 100,000 team members are doing a wonderful job working together to take care of our customers.

“We are also pleased to announce a capital deployment program that reduces our debt, provides additional pension contributions and returns capital to shareholders. The fact that we are able to implement this program while still funding our significant product improvements, fleet renewal program and integration costs is further evidence of the success of our merger. We have much hard work ahead, but we are extremely encouraged by the great work being done by our team members.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

Total revenues in the second quarter were a record $11.4 billion, up 10.2 percent versus the second quarter 2013 on a combined basis, on a 3.1 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Driven by a record yield of 17.34 cents, up 6.5 percent year-over-year, consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was also a record at 14.57 cents, up 5.9 percent versus the second quarter 2013 on a combined basis.

Total operating expenses in the second quarter were $10.0 billion, up 7.0 percent over combined second quarter 2013. Second quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.61 cents, up 3.9 percent on a 3.5 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus combined second quarter 2013. Excluding special charges and fuel, mainline CASM was up 2.2 percent compared to the combined second quarter 2013, at 8.55 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.80 cents, up 5.2 percent on a 0.4 percent decrease in regional ASMs versus combined second quarter 2013.

Liquidity

As of June 30, 2014, American had approximately $10.3 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $882 million was restricted. The Company also has an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion.

During the quarter, the Company repaid $502 million of debt obligations, which includes approximately $175 million for the settlement of its 7.25% convertible notes with cash. The Company also prepaid $113 million of obligations associated with aircraft debt, $51 million associated with special facility revenue bonds and also used $630 million of cash to purchase aircraft that were previously being leased to the Company.

At June 30, 2014, approximately $791 million of the Company’s unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.53 bolivars to the dollar. This includes approximately $94 million valued at 4.3 bolivars, approximately $611 million valued at 6.3 bolivars and approximately $86 million valued at 10.6 bolivars, with the rate depending on the date the Company submitted its repatriation request to the Venezuelan government. In the first quarter of 2014, the Venezuelan government announced that a newly implemented system (SICAD I) will determine the exchange rate (which fluctuates as determined by weekly auctions and at June 30, 2014 was 10.6 bolivars to the dollar) for repatriation of cash proceeds from ticket sales after January 1, 2014, and introduced new procedures for approval of repatriation of local currency.

The Company is continuing to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. However, pending further repatriation of funds, and due to the significant decrease in demand for air travel resulting from the effective devaluation of the bolivar, the Company recently significantly reduced capacity in this market. The Company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.

Capital Deployment Program

The Company also announced a capital deployment program intended to efficiently allocate cash balances over and above those required to fund its business. The program has three key components:

Debt/Lease Prepayments: Since the merger closed in December 2013, the Company has prepaid $420 million of aircraft debt and bond obligations. In addition, the Company plans to prepay $480 million of special facility revenue bond obligations by the end of 2014. It is anticipated that these prepayments will represent a reduction in the Company’s debt going forward. The Company has also used $630 million of cash to purchase aircraft that were previously leased to the Company and anticipates utilizing an additional $370 million of cash in this manner through the remainder of 2014. In addition, the Company has called for redemption of the remaining $900 million principal amount of the 7.5% senior notes due March 15, 2016. In total, these steps represent approximately $2.8 billion of prepayments that will be completed by the end of 2014.

Pension Funding: The Company plans to make supplemental contributions of $600 million to its defined benefit plans in 2014. These contributions would be above and beyond the $120 million minimum required contributions for 2014.

Return to Shareholders: The program includes a share repurchase program and the initiation of a quarterly dividend. The Company’s Board of Directors authorized a $1.0 billion share repurchase program to be completed no later than December 31, 2015. The Board also declared a dividend of $0.10 per share for shareholders of record as of August 4, 2014. The dividend will be paid on August 18, 2014. This is the first cash dividend declared at American Airlines since 1980.

Shares repurchased under the program announced above may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or accelerated share repurchase transactions. Any such repurchases will be made from time to time subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other relevant factors. The program does not obligate the Company to repurchase any specific number of shares or continue a dividend for any fixed period, and may be suspended at any time at management’s discretion.

Merger Integration Developments

US Airways joined American in the trans-Atlantic joint business agreement with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair and codeshare agreements with British Airways, Iberia and oneworld alliance partner airberlin

Combined operations at 72 airports since the merger

Began harmonizing its network by aligning flying between its hubs. The changes allow the Company to replace smaller regional aircraft with larger mainline aircraft and to redeploy regional jets to other markets to better match aircraft size with customer demand in small and medium sized communities
Announced new mileage redemption options for American Airlines AAdvantage® and US Airways Dividend Miles® members, along with new checked bag policies, and began to align the First and

Fleet and Network Developments

As part of its plan to modernize its fleet, the Company inducted 21 new aircraft during the second quarter

Expanded its European presence with new, seasonal summer service between its hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Manchester, U.K.

Strengthened its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with new nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Hong Kong and Shanghai

Announced twelve new routes in the United States and Canada from Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix, including service between DFW and new destination, Bismarck, N.D.

The Company also began service between DFW and Edmonton, Alberta

Other Developments

Distributed $5.5 million in operational incentive payouts to employees for on-time departures in the month of April; this distribution of $50 per employee is part of the Company’s Triple Play program which measures operational performance as reported in the DOT’s Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR). To date, the Company’s employees have earned $16.5 million in operational incentive payouts
Honored with two awards from Airfinance Journal, including the 2013 Overall “Deal of the Year” for its merger with US Airways, and the 2013 Airline “Treasury Team of the Year” for its work on American’s debt and lease restructuring, a major aircraft order and other financing

Employees donated more than 13,000 hours to numerous projects in the second quarter. In addition, the Company donated more than $3 million of travel to organizations including American Fallen Soldiers, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and Carry the Load
Recognized four employees with the 2014 Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership in Diversity for influencing positive change, setting an example and leaving a lasting impact on those around them
Special Items

In the second quarter, the Company recognized a total of $592 million in net special charges, including:

$253 million net special operating charges, which principally included $163 million of merger integration expenses, a net $38 million charge for bankruptcy related settlement obligations, $37 million in charges relating to the buyout of leases associated with certain aircraft, and $15 million of other special charges

Net $337 million non-cash tax charge, consisting primarily of a $330 million non-cash tax charge related to the Company’s sale of its portfolio of fuel hedging contracts that were scheduled to settle on or after June 30, 2014. This charge reverses a non-cash tax provision which was recorded in Other Comprehensive Income (OCI), a subset of stockholder’s equity, principally in 2009. The provision represents the tax effect associated with gains recorded in OCI principally in 2009 due to a net increase in the fair value of the Company’s fuel hedging contracts

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines Airbus A321-231 N114NN (msn 6046) completes its trans-con flight at New York (JFK).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

IAM members ratify three contracts with US Airways

US Airways (part of the American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued this statement:

Mechanics and Related, Fleet Service, and Maintenance Training Specialists workgroups at US Airways, represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), ratified three collective bargaining agreements overing more than 11,000 employees. The agreements will remain in effect for the US Airways employees until a joint collective bargaining agreement covering the 30,000 employees of the new American Airlines has been reached.

“We are pleased we have reached these agreements,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “We want to thank the International Association of Machinists leadership and negotiators for their professionalism and hard work on behalf of their members. We would also like to express our appreciation to the National Mediation Board, Board Member Linda Puchala and Mediator Walter Darr for their assistance in reaching these agreements. These agreements will allow us to focus on the next steps for integrating our airlines, and we can now start the process of bringing these employee groups together with their co-workers from American through joint collective bargaining agreements.”

The ratification continues progress on labor agreements at American Airlines since the merger with US Airways closed on December 9, 2013. Negotiations for joint flight attendant and pilot agreements are underway, and processes are in place to ensure that joint collective bargaining agreements for those groups will be reached soon.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N837AW (msn 2595) in the special  NFL “Arizona Cardinals” livery arrives at Baltimore/Washington.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways and Finnair launch their codeshare agreement

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) yesterday (July 16) launched its codeshare agreement with trans-Atlantic joint business partner Finnair (Helsinki), further enhancing its relationship with the fellow oneworld alliance member and providing customers increased access to Helsinki and beyond. Customers can now book tickets for codeshare flights for travel beginning July 24.

Through the codeshare, customers can now book Finnair flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Helsinki Airport (HEL) and beyond. The codeshare will extend to additional Finnair flights from Helsinki, providing customers more access to 11 destinations including Brussels, Oslo, Stockholm and Zurich.

Finnair customers will now have more options when traveling from Europe to the United States on US Airways-operated flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia. Customers can also book travel on US Airways-operated flights beyond JFK to Phoenix.

As part of this relationship, Dividend Miles and Finnair Plus frequent flyer programs are able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by the other carrier, providing another valuable benefit to customers. In addition, customers will now be able to earn miles when traveling on codeshare flights operated by the other airline.

US Airways joined the Atlantic joint business with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair as an affiliate member earlier this year, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A319-132 N822AW (msn 1410) in the special Nevada “Battle Born” state livery lands in Las Vegas.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair’s Airbus A330-302 OH-LTT (msn 1088) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

US Airways to operate a special flight “0737” on August 19 to honor the last Boeing 737 Classic

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) has decided to honor the long line of Boeing 737 Classic aircraft with a special flight “US 0737″ that will be flown on the last day of revenue passenger operations for the last Boeing 737-400 on August 19.

US Airways, with the previously legacy operations of Allegheny Airlines, USAir, Piedmont Airlines and now US Airways, the airline has flown the Boeing 737-200, 737-300 and 737-400 models. This is the last flight of a Classic 737 for the company.

The new American Airlines will continue to operate the Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 model. This special flight is available to the public and employees who want to experience history of the last flight.

Passengers and employees on this special flight will pay tribute to the many years of faithful service this aircraft type has provided to the legacy US Airways certificate holder.

The special flight will be routed from Charlotte (CLT) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), then on to Philadelphia (PHL) and finally back to Charlotte to close this chapter of airline history. Extra time is being allocated at each station for special farewell ceremonies.

Previously on November 26, 2012 US Airways retired its last Boeing 737-300 from revenue service. Aircraft 737-3B7 N530AU (msn 24412) operated flight US 1611 from Raleigh/Durham to the Charlotte hub ending 28 years of faithful service

The now finalized schedule of special flight US 0737 on Tuesday August 19, 2014:

US Airways last 737-400 flight (LRW)

Thank you US Airways and the American Airlines Group for honoring airline history and for organizing this special goodbye flight.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4B7 N443US (msn 24842) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

PSA Airlines to introduce the new Bombardier CRJ900 on July 31

PSA Airlines (2nd) (American Eagle and US Airways Express) (subsidiary of American Airlines Group) will introduce its new Bombardier CRJ900s (three delivered so far) on July 31 per ch-aviation.

Although painted in American Eagle colors (above), the CRJ900s will initially be operated for US Airways mainly from the Charlotte and Philadelphia hubs.

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) C-GWGQ became N547NN (msn 15317) when it was handed over on June 4, 2014.

US Airways Express-PSA Airlines: AG Slide Show

PSA (2nd) 2014 logo

 

Current Route Map for PSA Airlines:

PSA (2nd) 7.2014 Route Map

Video: Delivery of the first Bombardier CRJ900 to PSA Airlines:

US Airways to add a second daily Charlotte-London Heathrow flight

US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) is adding a second daily flight from its Charlotte hub to London (Heathrow) starting on September 13. The second flight will be operated with Airbus A330-200 equipment according to The Charlotte Observer. The second flight was made possible by the acquisition of the arrival and departure slots purchased from Cyprus Airways (Larnaca).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: David Neal/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N283AY (msn 1076) departs from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways to launch two new routes to Canada from Los Angeles

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) will launch two new routes from Los Angeles to Canada on October 2. The carrier will start US Airways Express Bombardier CRJ900 daily service to both Edmonton and Vancouver according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N934FJ (msn 15034) of Mesa Airlines taxies at Long Beach.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways Express-Mesa Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and the IAM reach a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract with the US Airways mechanics

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union have reached three tentative agreements covering more than 11,000 US Airways (Phoenix) mechanics, fleet service agents and maintenance training specialists. The Tentative Agreements cover the workgroups separately and amend pre-merger contracts. The three-year agreements are each subject to membership ratification. The union leadership and negotiating committees unanimously endorsed the tentative agreements, which if ratified, will lead to joint collective bargaining negotiations with their colleagues at the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to cover more than 30,000 employees at the new American Airlines.

The tentative agreements announced today continue progress on labor agreements at American Airlines since the merger with US Airways closed on December 9, 2013. Negotiations for a joint flight attendant agreement are underway. In addition, unions for pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents have filed petitions with the National Mediation Board for single carrier status determination to resolve union representation.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N702UW (msn 896) of US Airways now painted in the American Airlines brand arrives at Washington (Reagan National).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways to fly 4 American routes from Miami

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) as part of the integration and cross-fleeting process, is adjusting its routes, aircraft and crews to better match the markets with the aircraft types. As part of this strategy, US Airways will add Airbus A319 aircraft on the following routes starting on September 3 from the American Airlines Miami hub per Airline Route:

Boston 1 daily

Houston (Bush Intercontinental) 1 daily

Newark 1 daily

Washington (Reagan National) 1 daily

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways has started the rebranding process to the American Airlines 2013 livery. The first aircraft that were repainted were the Airbus A319s that were formerly painted in the now historic Star Alliance livery. US Airways’ Airbus A319-112 N703UW (msn 904) now painted in the American brand arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways launches its codeshare agreement with Airberlin

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth), part of American Airlines Group, today announced the launch of its codeshare agreement with fellow oneworld® member Airberlin (Berlin), further enhancing its relationship with the German carrier and providing customers increased access to major destinations throughout Germany and beyond.

The codeshare includes placing the US Airways code on Airberlin flights from Chicago, Miami and New York (JFK) to Berlin, and from Fort Myers, Florida, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (JFK) to Dusseldorf. From Berlin and Dusseldorf, customers will have access to 16 destinations in Europe, including Airberlin’s flights to Copenhagen, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. Customers traveling with Airberlin will now be able to book codeshare travel on US Airways flights from Frankfurt to Charlotte and Philadelphia, Zurich to Philadelphia, and from Munich to Philadelphia, as well as connecting service to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Phoenix.

US Airways plans to implement codeshare agreements with select other members of the oneworld alliance in the coming months. The airline joined oneworld as an affiliate member on March 31, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.

In other news, the American Airlines Group is having its first stockholder meeting tomorrow in Dallas. It is the first stockholder meeting since the merger and bankruptcy.

The Dallas News highlights the status of the group heading into tomorrow’s meeting: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The clock is ticking for the last remaining US Airways Boeing 737-400s. The airline will quietly retire the last 737 Classic flight from the Charlotte hub on August 18. Boeing 737-4B7 N455UW (msn 24997) of US Airways climbs away from the runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

A second US Airways flight diverts to Ireland due to flight attendant illness

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) had a second European flight divert yesterday (May 19) due to flight attendant illness. This incident follows the previous incident on May 10. Both flights originated in Venice, Italy.

Flight US 715 with an Airbus A330-200 with 238 passengers and 12 crew members from Venice to the Philadelphia hub was forced to divert to Ireland again after five flight attendants and this time a passenger felt ill according to this report by CNN.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com.  Airbus A330-243 N280AY (msn 1022) departs from Manchester.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

American quietly retires the last two Boeing 767-200s (for now)

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) as planned and previously reported, quietly replaced and retired its last two Boeing 767-200s that were operated at the end on the trans-continental routes. The two venerable aircraft were replaced with new Airbus A321s.

Officially the last revenue flight was operated with the pictured Boeing 767-223 ER N319AA (msn 22320) on flight AA 30 from Los Angeles to New York (JFK) departing LAX on the evening of May 7 and arriving at JFK during the early morning of May 8 per Frequent Business Traveler.

The pictured N319AA was delivered to AA on November 18, 1985 and was retired after almost 29 years of faithful service.

American began operating the type in 1982. However when US Airways is finally merged into the “new” American Airlines, AA will again operate the type.

US Airways continues to operate the Boeing 767-200. US Airways will draw down its 767-200 fleet and to continue to operate the type into 2015. Both American Airlines and US Airways are now part of the American Airlines Group. Eventually US Airways will be merged into American as the two carriers work towards a single operating certificate (SOC). When this happens, the new and larger American will be operating the type once again albeit for a short time again.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N319AA departs from Los Angeles before the retirement. The old Boeing 767-200s are not likely to be repainted into the new 2013 American Airlines livery, even when the US Airways Boeing 767s join the fleet. It is just too impractical for this soon to be retired aircraft type. The 1968 American livery will probably be the last color scheme worn by the AA 767-200s.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

FAA is investigating a near midair collision between United Airlines and US Airways near Hawaii

FAA logo

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) is investigating an April 25 near miss incident between an United Airlines (Chicago) Boeing 757 and an US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) Boeing 757-200 approximately 200 miles northeast of Kona, Hawaii. The two 757s were apparently on the same altitude when the United flight took evasive action after receiving a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TACAS) alert. The aircraft were separated by 5.3 miles horizontally and 800 feet vertically.

Read the full report from Time Magazine: CLICK HERE

Nine US Airways flight attendants become ill, flight diverts to Dublin

US Airways (Phoenix) flight 715 en route from Venice to Philadelphia was forced to divert to Dublin yesterday (May 10) after nine flight attendants on board became ill, according to CNN.

The flight attendants complained of “nausea, running eyes and dizziness” according to US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr.

185 passengers were on board the Airbus A330-200. The pilots and passengers did not report any ill feelings.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N281AY (msn 1041) rotates from the runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways and British Airways start their codeshare partnership today

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth), part of American Airlines Group, today announced the launch of its codeshare agreement with trans-Atlantic joint business partner and fellow oneworld® member British Airways (London), further enhancing its relationship with the British carrier. Beginning today, customers can book tickets on codeshare flights for travel beginning on May 14.

Launched in a phased approach, the codeshare will initially cover nearly all of the two carriers’ trans-Atlantic flights. Customers will now have access to British Airways flights to London from 21 destinations in the United States, and British Airways will place its code on US Airways flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia from 17 destinations throughout Europe.

The remaining flights in the codeshare will be implemented in phases and will include British Airways routes from London to more than 70 destinations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and US Airways flights to nearly 40 destinations in North America and the Caribbean. Customers can expect to have access to all codeshare flights by the end of this summer.

US Airways expects in the coming weeks to begin implementing codeshare agreements with the other member airlines in the trans-Atlantic joint business, Iberia and Finnair, providing customers easy access to the joint venture’s combined global network.

As part of the joint business relationship, members of the US Airways Dividend Miles and British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer programs are able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by the other carrier, providing another valuable benefit to customers. In addition, customers will be able to earn miles when traveling on codeshare flights operated by the other airline.

US Airways joined the joint venture as an affiliate member earlier this year, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.

Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A330-243 N288AY (msn 1441) arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBA (msn 40542) beautifully climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport hub.

 

American and US Airways announce eight new domestic routes

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), together with US Airways (Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix), today announced the addition of eight new domestic routes from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Phoenix, providing customers increased access to the combined airline’s global network. Scheduled to launch this fall, the new routes include service to five destinations in the Midwest, including Bismarck, North Dakota, a new destination for the combined carrier.

Beginning September 3, 2014, customers in Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR) will have access to twice-daily nonstop regional service to both Charlotte and Philadelphia. These routes will be operated as US Airways Express with Bombardier CRJs.

The remaining routes will launch on October 2 and include service between:

Charlotte and Evansville, Indiana (EVV), operated three times per day as US Airways Express with a Bombardier CRJ

Charlotte and Fort Wayne, Indiana (FWA), operated daily as US Airways Express with a Bombardier CRJ

Chicago (O’Hare) and Bismarck (BIS), operated daily as American Eagle with an Embraer ERJ 145

Dallas/Fort Worth and Bismarck, operated daily as American Eagle with an Embraer ERJ 145

Philadelphia and Fort Wayne, Indiana, operated twice-daily as US Airways Express with a Bombardier CRJ

Phoenix and Cleveland (CLE), operated daily by US Airways with an Airbus A320

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. PSA Airlines’ (2nd) Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N703PS (msn 10137) arrives back at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.

Video: US Airways continues to repaint its fleet in the new American livery:

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways Express-PSA Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Judge approves the American Airlines Group-DOJ settlement

According to Reuters, a federal judge on Friday (April 25) formally approved the November 2013 settlement between the U.S. government (Department of Justice) and American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) that merged to form the new American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth), now the world’s biggest airline group.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ former Star Alliance painted Airbus A319-112 N701UW (msn 890) is now painted in full American Airlines colors. N701UW, operating as an US Airways flight, arrives at the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

The flight attendant unions at American Airlines and US Airways start negotiations for a single contract

The Association of Flight Attendants, representing the flight attendants at US Airways (Phoenix) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, reprinting the flight attendants at American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), issued this statement as they begin negotiations for a new contract:

As record breaking profits for the new American Airlines were announced earlier yesterday, Flight Attendants represented by Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (US Airways) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (American) together met with management to submit an opening proposal for a single contract covering the combined workgroup. Today’s negotiations were part of an agreement ratified in February 2014 that outlined a specific process in which a single contract would be reached.

“Flight Attendants are ready to take full advantage of the benefits of the US Airways/American merger. Our contributions have helped create an efficient combination of our airlines and we look forward to improvements afforded through the largest network in the world. By using the combined strength and resources of our two unions, we are prepared to negotiate the best contract at the world’s biggest airline,” said Roger Holmin, AFA US Airways President.

Beginning today, negotiations will continue for the next 150 days with an intensive schedule in order to reach an agreement on a combined contract. With the assistance of the National Mediation Board and other expedited bargaining methods, it is expected that a new agreement will be in place by early 2015.

“What’s good news for American is great news for Flight Attendants. As the face of this airline, we will continue to work hard to make the company a success. [American CEO] Doug Parker knows that, and I feel confident that we’ll reach an agreement that recognizes the Flight Attendants’ contribution and commitment to the new American,” said APFA President Laura Glading.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 737-823 N807NN (msn 31077) of American Airlines taxies at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines Group reports a record first quarter net profit of $480 million

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today reported its first quarter 2014 results.

First quarter 2014 net profit was a record $480 million. This represents a $777 million improvement versus the company’s combined first quarter 2013 net loss of $297 million.

Excluding net special credits, the company reported a record first quarter net profit of $402 million. This represents a $340 million year-over-year improvement versus the company’s combined net profit of $62 million excluding net special charges in the first quarter 2013.

First quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special credits was 4.1 percent, a 3.6 point year-over-year improvement.

The company ended the quarter with $10.6 billion in total cash and short-term investments. Since the close of the merger, the company has used more than $542 million of cash to reduce its diluted shares outstanding by approximately 20 million.

For the first quarter 2014, American Airlines Group reported a record GAAP net profit of $480 million. This compares to a net loss of $341 million in the first quarter 2013. The company’s GAAP results for the first quarter 2013 reflect AMR Corporation prior to the merger.

The company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. Therefore, it includes the results of US Airways Group for the full period. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

First quarter 2014 net profit excluding net special credits was a record $402 million. This compares to a combined non-GAAP net profit of $62 million excluding net special charges for the same period in 2013. Excluding net special credits, first quarter 2014 diluted earnings per share was $0.54.

“We are very pleased to report a record profit in our first full quarter as a merged company,” said Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines Group. “Our team of dedicated professionals did an excellent job of taking care of our customers despite particularly difficult weather conditions throughout the quarter. We are excited for the future and expect our synergies to build as we continue to integrate our operations.”

Merger Integration

Since closing the merger on December 9, 2013, the company has made significant progress in integrating American Airlines and US Airways. Key accomplishments:

Launched the world’s largest codeshare, offering customers improved access to the company’s global network by allowing them to book flights on both airlines’ networks

Provided reciprocal benefits for airport lounge and frequent flyer elite members, including priority check-in, waiving fees for checked bags, complimentary access to preferred seats, priority security lines, early boarding and priority baggage delivery

Enabled AAdvantage® and Dividend Miles® members to earn and redeem miles when traveling across either airline’s network

Joined operations at 58 airports, including Phoenix and Miami hubs

Moved US Airways into the oneworld alliance on March 31 and to the trans-Atlantic joint venture with American, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair on April 3

Aligned award travel options, checked baggage policies and inflight services for First and Business Class customers

Announced Sabre as the new Passenger Services System for the combined company

Closed the sale of the slot divestitures required by the U.S. Department of Justice at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). In total, the company received $381 million in cash from the DCA sales and the sale of slots at New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) Airport, which closed in the fourth quarter 2013.

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

On a combined basis, total revenues in the first quarter were a record $10 billion, up 5.6 percent versus the first quarter 2013 on a 2.0 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Driven by a record yield of 17.03 cents, up 3.2 percent year-over-year, combined consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was also a record for the first quarter at 13.67 cents, up 2.9 percent versus the first quarter 2013.

Total combined operating expenses in the first quarter were $9.3 billion, down 0.3 percent over first quarter 2013. Combined first quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.50 cents, down 2.7 percent on a 2.7 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus first quarter 2013. This cost improvement was largely due to a 4.8 percent decrease in year-over-year mainline fuel prices. Excluding special charges, fuel and profit sharing, mainline CASM was up 4.0 percent compared to the first quarter 2013, at 8.96 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 16.62 cents, up 5.0 percent on a 3.2 percent decrease in regional ASMs versus first quarter 2013.

Liquidity

As of March 31, 2014, American had approximately $10.6 billion in total cash and short-term investments, of which $947 million was restricted. The company also has an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion. Approximately $750 million of the company’s unrestricted cash balance was held in Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.32 bolivars to the dollar. This includes approximately $94 million valued at 4.3 bolivars, approximately $611 million valued at 6.3 bolivars and approximately $45 million valued at 10.7 bolivars, with the rate depending on the date the company submitted its repatriation request to the Venezuelan government.

In the first quarter of 2014, the Venezuelan government announced that a newly-implemented system (SICAD I) will determine the exchange rate (which fluctuates as determined by weekly auctions and at March 31, 2014 was 10.7 bolivars to the dollar) for repatriation of cash proceeds from ticket sales after January 1, 2014, and introduced new procedures for approval of repatriation of local currency. The company is continuing to work with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency. The company is monitoring this situation closely and continues to evaluate its holdings of Venezuelan bolivars for potential impairment.

Since the merger, the company paid $542 million in tax withholdings for employees in lieu of issuing shares of common stock as compensation as permitted under the Plan of Reorganization, thereby reducing the number of shares expected to be issued under the Plan by approximately 20 million. Additionally, the company has elected to utilize the cash settlement feature for the remaining $22 million principal amount of US Airways Group 7.25% convertible notes due May 15, 2014, which will further reduce diluted shares by approximately 4 million shares.

Special Items

In the first quarter, the company recognized a combined total of $78 million in net special credits, including:

$137 million in net special credits consisting primarily of the gain on the sale of slots at Reagan National Airport offset in part by integration and merger-related expenses

$47 million in non-operating special charges due primarily to non-cash interest accretion on bankruptcy settlement obligations

$8 million in non-cash deferred income tax provision related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets

$4 million in regional non-operating charges

Additional Integration Related Developments

Distributed $11 million to employees for baggage handling and on-time performance in the month of January; this distribution of $100 per employee is part of the company’s Triple Play program which measures on-time arrivals and baggage performance as reported in the DOT’s Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR)

Conducted first joint Captain Leadership Training with newly promoted captains from both airlines

On April 9, Piedmont flight attendants ratified a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement
Opened a new Admirals Club lounge at the company’s Philadelphia (PHL) hub

Fleet/Network Developments

As part of its plan to modernize its fleet by replacing older aircraft with newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, the company inducted 12 new Airbus A321 aircraft into service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). American is now the only U.S. carrier to offer three classes of service between these key markets.

The company also took delivery of one Airbus A330-200 aircraft, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft and one Boeing 777-300 aircraft during the first quarter.

Revealed new Boeing 767-300 and 777-200ER cabin retrofits, which feature lie-flat seats with direct aisle access in Business Class

In April 2014, the company exercised its option to purchase (and thus terminated its existing lease financing arrangements) for 62 Airbus A320 family aircraft scheduled to be delivered between first quarter 2015 and third quarter 2017. In connection with this decision, the company also exercised its right to convert firm orders for 30 Airbus A320 family NEO aircraft (scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022) to options to acquire such aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines’ Boeing 767-323 ER N346AN (msn 33085) taxies at Zurich.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now planning to operate the last Boeing 737 revenue flight on August 18 at the Charlotte hub. Boeing 737-4B7 N450UW (msn 24933) arrives back at CLT.

 

US Airways trims the frequencies on some new Charlotte European routes

US Airways (Phoenix) is trimming back on four new European routes from the Charlotte hub according to the Charlotte Observer. The new routes from CLT to Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Manchester were announced in October as daily flights (CLICK HERE to read the original report). However due apparent weak demand, the new flights are now being trimmed back to only four days a week.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2B7 N201UU (msn 27180) arrives back at the Charlotte hub yesterday (April 20).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines and US Airways issue their fleet plans

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued its new fleet update (see below) for 2014. Overall the fleet will grow by only three aircraft this year. The Group will take delivery of 83 new mainline aircraft during 2014, namely 10 Airbus A319s, 42 A321s, three A330-200s, 20 Boeing 737-800s, two 787-8s and six 777-300s (more Airbus aircraft than Boeing aircraft). The Group expects to retire during 2014 26 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82/83s (MD-80s), 14 Boeing 737-400s, 22 757-200s, 13 767-200s and five Airbus A320s.

The last eight Boeing 737-400s being operated by US Airways (top) are expected to be retired before the end of the third quarter (September 30).

On the regional side, the Group is significantly reducing its Embraer ERJ 140 fleet but it will also operate a large amount of inefficient 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200s (138) and Embraer ERJ 145s (118).

Here is the full report:

American Fleet Update 4.2014 (AAG)

In addition, according to Airline Route, American Airlines and US Airways will begin assigning certain routes to either American or US Airways:

Effective June 1: American Airlines routes to be operated entirely by US Airways:

Charlotte – Chicago (O’Hare)
Charlotte – Miami
Los Angeles – Phoenix

Effective July 2, the following American routes will be operated by US Airways:

Miami – Detroit
Miami – New Orleans
Miami – Raleigh
Miami – Tampa

Effective July 2, the following US Airways routes will be operated by American:

Phoenix – Detroit
Phoenix – Newark
Phoenix – Orange County
Phoenix – Seattle

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. A significant milestone is approaching quickly. US Airways has had a long association with the Boeing 737 and the last 737-400 is expected to be retired before the end of September according to this fleet update. Boeing 737-4B7 N433US (msn 24555) taxies to the runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. American is quickly replacing the older Boeing 767-200 ERs currently being operated between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles with newer Airbus A321s. The last AA 767-200 is expected to be retired on May 7 according to ch-aviation although the type will continue with US Airways into 2015. American Airlines’ Boeing 767-223 ER N335AA (msn 22333) departs from Los Angeles bound for New York (JFK).

 

Piedmont Airlines’ flight attendants ratify the new contract

Piedmont Airlines’ (2nd) (US Airways Express) (Salisbury) flight attendants, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), have voted to ratify a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that was reached on March 6. The new contract was ratified by the airline’s 180 flight attendants who are based in Harrisburg, PA; Salisbury, MA; Charlottesville, VA; Roanoke, VA and New Bern, NC.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-102 N908HA (msn 015) of Piedmont Airlines (2nd) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) hub.

Piedmont Airlines-US Airways Express: AG Slide Show

American Airlines changes its policies concerning mileage redemptions and checked bag policies

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today announced new mileage redemption options for American Airlines AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles members, as well as new checked bag policies for customers traveling across the combined network of more than 356 destinations in 56 countries. The changes, along with enhancements in First and Business Class on flights operated by US Airways, part of American Airlines Group, will provide customers a more consistent experience and an onboard product in line with or better than that of American’s competitors.

Mileage Redemption Structure

Effective today for travel starting June 1, Dividend Miles members now will be able to book last seat availability awards for flights year-round without any blackout dates. For AAdvantage members, AAnytime award travel will now be available more for than half of the year at an even lower redemption level. Previous redemption rates called for 25,000 miles one way, and the new redemptions will start at 20,000 miles one way. Redemption mileage during the remainder of the year will begin at 30,000 miles one way for last seat availability. The exceptions will fall on the busiest travel days of the year. On those days, American will offer a higher award redemption option, which will be available starting at 50,000 miles one way. Since January, when American and US Airways launched the first phase of reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members have earned more than 587 million miles through travel across the new American’s combined global network. For details on award travel levels, visit aa.com/aadvantage or usairways.com/dividendmiles.

Checked Bag Policies

American has also updated its checked bag policies. For flights operated by American, these changes take place for tickets issued starting today. For flights operated by US Airways, these changes take place for tickets issued starting April 23. The changes include removing the second bag charge on flights to and from South America. Also, AAdvantage Gold members and Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold members will receive one fewer free checked bag than they do today. Customers traveling on an AAnytime award or a full-fare economy ticket (on legacy American) will no longer receive free checked bags. Lastly, Citi cardholders will continue to receive one free checked bag, and starting April 30, that same benefit will also apply to customers who have the US Airways MasterCard® with an annual fee of at least $79.

Importantly, American leads the industry in baggage exemptions for our nation’s military as the only airline to offer five free checked bags to military servicemen and women traveling on orders, and three bags to military servicemen and women on personal travel.

Inflight Enhancements

Customers in First Class on flights operated by US Airways will now enjoy an updated selection of fresh meals on most flights longer than 1,000 nautical miles, or about 2 hours 45 minutes in duration. Customers in international Business Class on flights operated by US Airways will be able to tune out or tune in to new entertainment options with new Bose® Quiet Comfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones. Another feature includes Business Class on Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft which will now offer 60 movies and a greater variety of television programs, as well as audio selections on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab. Business Class on Airbus A330 aircraft now offers double the previous entertainment options, with more than 250 movies and 350 audio choices.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-115 N8009T (msn 5788) arrives at Charlotte.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways joins the trans-Atlantic joint venture

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), British Airways (London), Iberia (Madrid) and Finnair (Helsinki) today (April 3) celebrate a key milestone as US Airways (Phoenix) joins the airlines’ trans-Atlantic joint venture. As part of the joint business, established by American, British Airways and Iberia in October 2010, the airlines can cooperate commercially on trans-Atlantic flights. The joint venture also includes a revenue sharing agreement in which member airlines have permission to coordinate schedules and pricing on North Atlantic routes. These benefits provide customers traveling between North America and Europe increased choices and access to a more comprehensive network.

US Airways brings 28 trans-Atlantic routes to the joint business including nonstop service from the United States to 18 European destinations including Munich, Athens and Amsterdam. Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C., will become oneworld’s largest East Coast gateways to Europe providing customers access to more than 100 destinations throughout North America with one-stop connections from these two airports. With combined operations, the joint business will serve 29 destinations in North America and 25 destinations in Europe, operating nearly 100 routes between the two regions.

US Airways also plans to implement extensive codeshare agreements with the other carriers in the coming weeks, providing easy access to the joint business’ combined global network.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N283AY (msn 1076) rotates at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

 

US Airways jumps from the Star Alliance to the Oneworld Alliance

Oneworld logo

US Airways (Phoenix) yesterday (March 31) as planned, completed its transition to Oneworld along with TAM Airlines (Sao Paulo) marking the biggest single-day expansion of the alliance since its launch 15 years ago.

US Airways’ regional affiliates, operating as US Airways Express, also transitioned to Oneworld, following US Airways’ recent merger with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).

With its regional affiliates, US Airways serves more than 200 destinations and 30 countries with a fleet of more than 620 aircraft. It carried 82.5 million passengers in 2013 and currently operates 3,200 departures a day. It uses the two-letter code US, but this will be changed to AA once the two airlines combine under a single operating certificate.

It has added more than 50 destinations to the oneworld map – most in its US home but also two in Canada and one each in Ireland and Mexico – along with its key hubs of Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington DC’s Reagan National, expanding oneworld’s presence across the USA, particularly throughout the East Coast and across the North Atlantic.

Once the integration is completed, the new American will offer service to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries, carrying 190 million passengers a year on a fleet of 1,500 aircraft.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways announces its routes to be dropped from Washington’s Reagan National Airport

US Airways (Phoenix) according to Airline Route, has announced the anticipated US Airways and US Airways Express route deletions and dates from Washington’s Reagan National Airport as required by the Department of Justice (DOJ) agreement as a prerequisite for the American Airlines-US Airways merger.

May 22, 2014: San Diego

June 5: Augusta, Fayetteville, Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville (NC), Little Rock and Omaha

June 19: Tallahassee

July 2: Islip, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pensacola and Savannah

August 19: Detroit

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 N508AY (msn 3740) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways flight 1702 with Airbus A320 N113UW blows a tire on takeoff at Philadelphia, nose gear collapses

US Airways (Phoenix) flight US 1702 was departing the Philadelphia hub last night (March 13) headed towards Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 6:25 pm (1825) local time. The flight with 149 passengers and five crew members was being flown on the pictured Airbus A320-214 N113UW (msn 1141). On the takeoff roll the A320 blew a tire and the takeoff was aborted. Eyewitnesses reported the bounced at least twice. The nose wheel gear collapsed as the airliner came to a halt at the edge of the pavement. The passengers and crew members safely exited the airliner via emergency exits and chutes. The incident closed the main runway for a period of time.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Seman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N113UW (msn 1141) taxies at the Charlotte hub prior to incident at Philadelphia.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Evacuation Video:

 

 

 

US Airways to add three new routes from Philadelphia

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have announced the addition of new regional service in June from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston, West Virginia, Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky, and Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Memphis, Tennessee, adding three new routes to the airline’s network.

Following the launch of the new service, American Airlines and US Airways will serve 127 destinations in 25 countries from Philadelphia.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Charleston will be operated once daily (except Saturday) by regional partner Piedmont Airlines with a Bombardier DHC-8 aircraft.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Lexington will be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.

US Airways Express service between Philadelphia and Memphis will also be operated three times per day by regional partner Air Wisconsin with a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Piedmont Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-102 N936HA (msn 145) approaches Washington’s Reagan National Airport for landing.

US Airways Express-Piedmont Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

US Airways Express-Air Wisconsin: AG Slide Show

 

US Airways flight attendants vote to join forces with American Airlines flight attendants

AFA-Association of Flight Attendants logo

US Airways Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), voted to ratify an Agreement on Bargaining and Representation between AFA and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) along with a Negotiations Protocol Agreement with American Airlines management. The agreement establishes a joint negotiations protocol for a single contract at the New American Airlines with the assurance of improvements in one year for all 24,000 Flight Attendants.

Beginning next week, AFA and APFA will form a joint negotiating team with an equal number of representatives and professional advisors as they spend the next 60 days preparing an opening proposal based on the best of both contracts and input from all Flight Attendants at the New American. Management has agreed to meet for 150 days with an intensive schedule that averages three weeks a month in an effort to reach an agreement on a combined contract. The parties will utilize the mediation services of the National Mediation Board and other expedited bargaining methods. If an agreement cannot be reached, only the open items will be submitted to arbitration based on an economic standard that will produce improvements over the current contracts. The entire process includes timelines that lead to implementation of a new single contract no later than the first quarter of 2015.

The agreement transitions representation for the combined group to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). The unions will jointly file a single carrier petition with the National Mediation Board in June, which will lead to certification of APFA as the representative in summer or fall. AFA will continue to work in partnership with APFA until the joint bargaining process is concluded and the new contract is implemented. Even after APFA’s certification, AFA will continue to enforce the current US Airways contract and related grievances.

US Airways Express/American Eagle to return to Watertown, New York

US Airways (American Airlines) (Phoenix) will resume passenger service to Watertown, New York on May 8. US Airways Express service was last operated in April 2007 from and to Pittsburgh. This time, US Airways Express (soon American Eagle) 50-seat CRJ200s will be operated to and from the Philadelphia hub with two flights a day.

Read the full report from 7 News in Watertown: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N241PS (msn 7909) of PSA Airlines (2nd) taxies at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways Express-PSA Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and US Airways expand their code-share agreement

 

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) are expanding their code-share agreement to provide customers access to nearly 6,500 daily flights to more than 275 destinations in the combined global network. These additional codeshare flights are now available for booking, for travel starting February 6.

American and US Airways launched the initial phase of their code-share on January 13. This phase extends the code-share to all flights across the combined global network, except for a select few international markets due to regulatory requirements. The two airlines expect to code-share on every international flight in these markets by the end of the first quarter.

Through the code-share, each airline can sell tickets operated by the other carrier using its own code and flight number, and customers will be able to easily combine select flights operated by each airline on a single itinerary when booking travel on aa.com, usairways.com or through travel distribution channels.

Customers should continue to check in for flights and conduct business with the airline operating their flight just as they did before the launch of this code-share.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The first US Airways aircraft to be repainted in American Airlines’ 2013 livery is this former Star Alliance Airbus A319-112 N700UW (msn 885) arriving back at Charlotte.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Mesa Air Group to expand its partnership with US Airways

Mesa Air Group, Inc. (Mesa Airlines) (Phoenix has announced it has reached an agreement with US Airways, Inc. (Phoenix) to extend the term covering its original 38 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft currently in operation and for the addition of four CRJ900 aircraft to its current fleet of 47 aircraft under the US Airways Express contract. The term of the agreement covering the 38 aircraft was extended until 2021 and the term for the 4 additional aircraft is 8 years from their induction date. No further details of the agreement were released.

Mesa currently operates 69 aircraft with approximately 396 daily system departures to 77 cities, and recently announced an additional 30 Embraer 175 aircraft will be flying for United Airlines. Mesa operates as US Airways Express and United Express under contractual agreements with US Airways and United Airlines, respectively, and independently as go!.

Eventually the company will become a new American Eagle branded operator with the final merger of the two AOCs into one for American Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N919FJ (msn 15019) of Mesa departs from the Charlotte hub.

US Airways Express-Mesa: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group considers new destinations from the US Airways Charlotte hub

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) new CEO (and old US Airways and America West Airlines CEO) Doug Parker stated to the Charlotte Observer and others via a conference call that they plan to add “new dots on the map” for the Charlotte hub. AA executives are now reviewing the combined route map for new opportunities. CLT is now the second largest hub (behind DFW) for the American Airlines Group.

American is also adding more seats to its planes.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The old met the new at the Charlotte hub. Allegheny Airlines became USAir, later US Airways which merged with American Airlines with US Airways management taking over the “new” American. Airbus A319-112 N700UW (msn 885) of US Airways was the first aircraft to be paint in the new American Airlines brand.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways puts the first American Airlines painted aircraft into revenue service this morning

US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix) has painted its first aircraft in American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) 2013 new livery. The pictured Airbus A319-112 N700UW (msn 885), formerly painted in the Star Alliance color scheme (which US Airways is leaving), was placed into revenue service early this morning (January 30) from the Charlotte hub to New York’s La Guardia Airport as flight US 2060.

American Airlines 2013 logo

US Airways issued this statement:

American Airlines today (January 30) entered into service the first legacy US Airways aircraft, an Airbus A319, painted in the American Airlines livery. The newly dressed plane, tail number N700UW, debuted its freshly painted fuselage with service from Charlotte to New York’s LaGuardia Airport on flight 2060.

The Airbus A319 recently spent 13 days receiving its makeover. In anticipation of the new coat of paint, the existing paint was gently removed, the aircraft sanded and washed. Following the metallurgical exfoliation, the seams were sealed, the aircraft masked and 80 gallons of specially chosen paint applied to the exterior. A final detailing was completed to ensure the highest shine before sending the plane out the door and back to work.

This past December, following the close of the merger with US Airways, a survey was launched allowing employees from both airlines to vote whether to change or to maintain American’s current livery. InJanuary 2014 the voting results were announced to keep the new flag tail livery.

The airline will be adding the new look to its entire fleet of aircraft over the next few years. Approximately 640 aircraft are in line to receive the makeover, with newly arriving legacy American Airlines aircraft already outfitted in the new colors and US Airways aircraft delivered in the new colors beginning this June.  By the end of second quarter 2014 American Airlines anticipates that more than 275 mainline and regional aircraft will have been painted in the new livery.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. History was recorded early this morning at Charlotte (CLT) by Jay Selman. All US Airways aircraft repainted in American’s colors will have a special “Operated by US Airways” inscription by the front door until the two AOCs are merged into one operating certificate.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N700UW  returns to Charlotte today after completing its round trip to and from New York.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

American Airlines Group reports its combined fourth quarter and full year financial results

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today reported fourth quarter and full year 2013 results.

  • As the result of the merger which closed on Dec. 9, 2013, US Airways Group became a subsidiary of AMR Corporation which changed its name to American Airlines Group Inc. (AAG)
  • Fourth quarter 2013 combined net profit was $436 million on a non-GAAP basis excluding net special charges. This represents a $478 million improvement versus the company’s combined fourth quarter 2012 non-GAAP net loss of $42 million excluding net special credits
  • 2013 combined net profit was $1.9 billion on a non-GAAP basis excluding net special charges, a $1.5 billion improvement versus the company’s combined 2012 non-GAAP net profit of $407 million excluding net special charges
  • The company ended the year with $10.3 billion in total cash and investments. Since the merger, the company has used more than $300 million of cash to reduce its diluted shares outstanding by approximately 14 million

For the fourth quarter 2013, AAG reported a GAAP net loss of $2.0 billion, which includes $2.4 billion of net special charges. This compares to a net profit of $262 million, which includes $350 million of net special credits in the fourth quarter 2012. AAG’s GAAP financial results include the results for US Airways only for the period from the completion of the merger on Dec. 9, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013.

For full year 2013, GAAP net loss was $1.8 billion, which includes $3.1 billion of net special charges. This compares to a full year 2012 net loss of $1.9 billion, which includes $1.7 billion of net special charges.

The company believes it is more meaningful to compare year-over-year results for American Airlines and US Airways on a combined basis, which is a non-GAAP formulation that combines the results for AMR Corporation and US Airways Group. Therefore, it includes the results of US Airways Group for the full period (not just the period since the merger closed). See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for further explanation of this presentation, including a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial information.

Fourth quarter 2013 combined net profit was $436 million on a non-GAAP basis excluding net special charges. This compares to a combined non-GAAP net loss of $42 million excluding net special credits for the same period in 2012. Based on a diluted share count of 742 million, fourth quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share was $0.59 on a non-GAAP basis.

For 2013, the company’s combined net profit was $1.9 billion on a non-GAAP basis excluding net special charges. This represents a $1.5 billion improvement over the company’s combined 2012 non-GAAP net profit of $407 million excluding net special charges.

“The early returns on our merger are very positive,” said Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines Group Inc. “Our teams are working well together and our customers are already beginning to see the benefits of our combined network. We have much work ahead, but believe we are on our way to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world. These financial results are evidence of the strong foundation we have in place and we anticipate improving upon these results as we further integrate our operations in 2014.”

Merger Integration 

Since closing the merger on December 9, 2013, the company has made significant progress in integrating American Airlines and US Airways. Key accomplishments include:

  • Launched the first phase of codesharing which offers customers improved access to the company’s global network by allowing them to book select flights on both airlines’ networks
  • Provided reciprocal benefits for Club members and Elite members, including priority check-in, waiver of fees for checked bags, complimentary access to preferred seats, priority security, early boarding and priority baggage delivery
  • Allowed AAdvantage® and Dividend Miles members to earn and redeem miles when traveling across either airline’s network
  • Trained more than 85,000 customer-facing employees

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

On a combined basis, total revenues in the fourth quarter were $10.0 billion, up 8.7 percent versus the fourth quarter 2012 on a 3.4 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Fourth quarter combined consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) was 13.64 cents, up 5.0 percent versus the fourth quarter 2012, driven by a 5.3 percent increase in yield.

Strong demand and high load factors led to 2013 total combined revenues of $40.4 billion, which were up 4.7 percent versus 2012. Full year combined consolidated PRASM was 13.67 cents, up 2.6 percent versus 2012.

Total combined operating expenses in the fourth quarter were $9.7 billion, up 7.0 percent over fourth quarter 2012. Combined fourth quarter mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 14.17 cents, up 4.2 percent on a 3.6 percent increase in mainline ASMs versus fourth quarter 2012. Excluding special charges, fuel and profit sharing, mainline CASM was flat compared to the fourth quarter 2012, at8.49 cents. Regional CASM excluding special charges and fuel was 15.73 cents, up 1.8 percent on a 1.6 percent increase in regional ASMs versus fourth quarter 2012.

For the full year 2013, total combined operating expenses were $37.8 billion, up 0.6 percent versus 2012. Excluding special charges, fuel and profit sharing, combined mainline CASM decreased 3.1 percent to 8.37 cents versus 2012. Regional CASM excluding special credits and fuel increased 1.1 percent to 15.38 cents versus 2012.

Liquidity and Financing Transactions

As of December 31, 2013, American had $10.3 billion in total cash and investments, of which $1.0 billion was restricted. The company also has an undrawn revolving credit facility of $1.0 billion. Approximately $710 million of this unrestricted cash balance was held as Venezuelan bolivars, valued at the weighted average applicable exchange rate of 6.04 bolivars to the dollar. The period of time to exchange those funds into dollars and repatriate them has been increasing and is presently more than a year. On January 24, 2014, the Venezuelan government announced that a newly-implemented system will determine the exchange rate (currently 11.36 to the dollar) for repatriation of income from future ticket sales, and introduced new procedures for approval of repatriation of local currency. American is working with Venezuelan authorities regarding the timing and exchange rate applicable to the repatriation of funds held in local currency.

During the fourth quarter, the company elected to pay approximately $300 million in tax withholdings for employees under the Plan of Reorganization in lieu of issuing shares of common stock, thereby reducing the number of shares issued under the Plan by approximately 13 million. On January 9, 2014, the first distribution date, the company paid approximately $23 million in additional employee tax withholdings in lieu of issuing approximately 1 million shares of common stock. The company may make a similar election on future distribution dates as both a service to our team members and an indication of our confidence in the value of our common stock.

Additional balance sheet and liquidity detail will be included in the company’s Form 10-K to be filed in February.

During the fourth quarter, the company engaged in these additional financing transactions:

  • Completed the American Airlines offering of the Series 2013-2B EETC in aggregate face amount of $512 million and the Series 2013-2C EETC in aggregate face amount of $256 million
  • Amended the American Airlines term loan facility and the revolving credit facility to lower the applicable LIBOR margins to 3.0% for both offerings. As part of this amendment, the LIBOR floor with respect to the term loan facility was reduced from 1.0% to 0.75%
  • Utilized the floating rate debt market to refinance eight US Airways aircraft (six A321s and two A320s) at significantly reduced rates
  • Financed two US Airways spare engine deliveries with a floating rate debt facility originated in 2012 while negotiating an interest rate reduction for the entire facility
  • On Jan. 16, 2014 the company also amended the US Airways term loan facility, to lower the applicable LIBOR margin from 3.0% to 2.75% for Tranche B1. In addition, the LIBOR floor was reduced from 1.0% to 0.75% on both the Tranche B1 and Tranche B2 loans

Special Charges

In the fourth quarter, the company recognized a combined total of $2.4 billion in net special charges, including:

  • $2.2 billion in net reorganization charges consisting primarily of a deemed claim to employees, professional fees and estimated allowed claim amounts
  • $497 million in operating expense net special charges primarily related to the pilot memorandum of understanding that became effective upon merger close, merger related costs and professional fees and a charge related to the pilot long-term disability obligation
  • $324 million in non-cash income tax benefits primarily related to gains recorded in Other Comprehensive Income, offset in part by a charge related to deferred tax liabilities on indefinite lived assets
  • $31 million in operating revenue net special credits related to a change in accounting method resulting from the modification of the company’s AAdvantage® miles agreement with Citibank
  • $21 million in non-operating net special charges primarily related to interest charges to recognize post-petition interest expense on unsecured obligations

Notable Accomplishments

Additional Integration Related

  • On December 9, 2013, US Airways Group became a subsidiary of AMR Corporation which changed its name to American Airlines Group Inc. The company’s common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker “AAL”. Union presidents and more than 1,000 of the company’s employees joined American’s senior management team for the televised NASDAQ opening bell ceremony
  • Announced the new leadership team through the Managing Director level
  • Co-located our revenue management team to ensure the company is executing pricing and revenue management strategies as one organization
  • Took the unprecedented step of asking team members to vote to select the aircraft livery of the merged carrier. More than 60,000 team members participated

Fleet/Network

  • Continued to modernize its fleet with new, fuel-efficient aircraft. The company inducted thirteen Airbus A320 family aircraft, two A330-200 aircraft, five Boeing 737-800 and one Boeing 777-300 aircraft into its fleet
  • Signed agreements with Bombardier Inc. and Embraer S.A. to purchase 90 new 76-seat regional jets that will replace smaller, less efficient 50-seat regional aircraft scheduled for retirement
  • Began nonstop service between its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth and Bogota, Colombia and Roatan, Honduras and announced proposed new service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Hong Kong and Shanghai
  • Began nonstop service between its Miami hub and Curitiba and Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Expanded the company’s international reach from its hub at Charlotte, North Carolina with the announcement of new, seasonal summer service to Barcelona, Spain; Brussels, Belgium; Lisbon, Portugal and Manchester, England
  • Announced the company will begin service to Edinburgh, Scotland from its Philadelphia hub this summer
  • Held the grand opening of an expanded Terminal F in PHL, the exclusive home of US Airways Express. The airport project which was managed by the company, quadrupled the facilities central area to 37,000 square feet and added 20 new food, beverage and retail outlets for our customers

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 767-323 ER N388AA (msn 27448) arrives at the Miami hub.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

US Airways to close the Pittsburgh Operations Center, 600 jobs impacted

US Airways (Phoenix) as a result of the merger with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), will close its flight operations center located in Moon, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). All flight operations will be consolidated at American Airlines’ facility near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 600 jobs will be impacted. The new facility opened in November 2008.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. All new US Airways deliveries will now be painted in American Airlines colors. Airbus A321-231 N559UW (msn 5292) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American and US Airways announce the routes it will drop from Washington Reagan National and New York LaGuardia

American Airlines Group Inc. (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced the planned network adjustments resulting from the required divestiture of slots and related assets at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The divestitures, which enabled American Airlines and US Airways to complete their merger, were mandated by the previously announced settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the States ofArizona, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA)

As a result of the 52 slot pair divestitures at DCA required by the DOJ, American will no longer operate year-round, daily nonstop service to 17 destinations from DCA.  Customers in these communities will still have access to DCA, which remains a key hub for American, through connecting flights from one or more of the airline’s other eight hubs.

Communities no longer receiving year-round, daily service include:

Augusta, Ga.Detroit, Mich.Fayetteville, N.C.Fort Walton Beach, Fla.Islip, N.Y.

Jacksonville, N.C.

Little Rock, Ark.Minneapolis, Minn.MontrealMyrtle Beach, S.C.Nassau, Bahamas

Omaha, Neb.

Pensacola, Fla.San Diego, Calif.Savannah, Ga.Tallahassee, Fla.Wilmington, N.C.

Effective dates for the changes at DCA will be announced after the sale of slots and related assets is finalized in the coming weeks. American is currently working through the DOJ-approved divestiture process which includes transition agreements with acquiring airlines to minimize the disruption to customers.

Customers in Washington, D.C., and on the West Coast will benefit from other schedule changes, as American will soon add a second daily nonstop frequency between DCA and Los Angeles by shifting US Airways’ current San Diego flight to Los Angeles.

In addition, American will adjust its service to Fort Myers, Florida, moving from year-round service to a seasonal schedule.

New York LaGuardia (LGA)

As a result of the DOJ-required 17 slot pair divestitures at LGA, American will no longer operate nonstop service to Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis/St. Paul. However, changes to the schedule made possible by the combined network of American and US Airways will provide opportunities for new service to 10 communities.  New service from LGA includes:

Charlottesville, Va. Little Rock, Ark. Roanoke, Va.
Dayton, Ohio Louisville, Ky. Wilmington, N.C.
Greensboro, N.C. Norfolk, Va.
Knoxville, Tenn. Richmond, Va.

Customers can begin booking tickets for these new routes Sunday, January 26 for travel beginning April 1.

In December 2013, American and US Airways finalized the DOJ-approved sale of slots and related assets at LGA with agreements that allow the appropriate time for American and the acquiring airlines to transition their operations and minimize the disruption to customers.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N936NN (msn 31176) approaches the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and US Airways are set to start the first phase of their codeshare agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) (American Airlines Group) today are now offering customers improved access to the combined company’s global network through the first phase of a codeshare. Beginning today, customers can book flights on both airlines’ networks through the codeshare for travel starting on January 23.

Through the codeshare, each airline will sell tickets operated by the other carrier using its own code and flight number, and customers will be able to easily combine select flights operated by each airline on a single itinerary when booking travel on aa.com, usairways.com, or through other travel distribution channels. In addition, customers connecting on codeshare flights can seamlessly transfer bags when traveling on an itinerary that includes flights operated by both carriers. Launched in a phased approach, the codeshare seeks to provide a smooth travel experience while American and US Airways continue to operate as separate airlines during the merger integration.

The first phase of the codeshare will cover only select American and US Airways flights and includes placing:

  • The US Airways code on most American-operated flights between American’s hubs in Chicago,Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (JFK), and US Airways hubs in Charlotte,Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (DCA).
  • The American code on most US Airways-operated flights between US Airways’ hubs in Charlotte,Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. (DCA), and American’s hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York (JFK).
  • The American code on US Airways’ East Coast Shuttle service, which includes flights betweenBoston, New York (LGA) and Washington, D.C. (DCA).
  • The US Airways code on select American domestic flights from Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth, providing US Airways customers immediate access to small- and medium-size destinations currently served by American but not US Airways.
  • The American and US Airways code on select international flights operated by the other carrier.

The two airlines are expected to extend the codeshare to include all flights within the combined network in the coming weeks. Customers should continue to check in for flights and conduct business with the airline operating their flight just as they did before the launch of this codeshare.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER WL N378AN (msn 25447) with Blended Winglets approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The “new American” will operate a mixed long-range fleet of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. US Airways’ Airbus A330-323X N274AY (msn 342) completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).

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