Ready for Takeoff
Merger puts US Airways on the runway to success
This being the airline industry, however, there's still plenty that could go wrong. The merger is far from complete, for one thing. America West will still exist in name, fact, and logo until the two carriers merge their reservation and operations systems--thorny tasks that have already left some customers stuck in the netherworld between the two systems. Even once the two operations become seamless--probably by next year sometime--fuel prices could spike, or another shock like 9/11 could traumatize the industry again. Perhaps the worst threat to airlines is their own lack of discipline. In the past, as profits have returned following downturns, carriers have repeatedly added back routes and flights, to protect market share and battle lower-cost competitors--then ended up losing money as margins declined. US Airways says it is determined to evade that. "We're not market-share-driven," insists Kirby. "We will be very disciplined about capacity." That would mark a different kind of airline indeed.
AT A GLANCE
The "new" US Airways is the result of a merger between the "old" US Airways and America West.
CEO: Doug Parker (above)
Revenues: $11.5 billion (est.)
Headquarters: Tempe, Ariz.
Operations: 35,100 employees, 3,866 daily flights
Hubs: Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; and Las Vegas