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Old Feb 9, 10, 6:20 pm
Join Date: Aug 2006
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USNews Now: An Important Message from US Airways President Scott Kirby
Feb. 9, 2010

Dear Fellow Employees:
Earlier today the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a ruling regarding US Airways’ proposed slot transaction with Delta Air Lines. Although granting tentative approval, in its decision the DOT states it would require both airlines to divest 33 percent (14 of the 42 roundtrip slot pairs) at DCA that US Airways would obtain from Delta and 16 percent (20 of the 125 roundtrip slot pairs) at LGA that we would transfer to Delta. Furthermore, we could only sell those assets to carriers that control fewer than 5 percent of the slots at each airport, and if we are unsuccessful in that sale, DOT will simply take the slots away from us.
We are disappointed by the DOT’s decision, and here’s why. First, this represents a significant portion of the proposed economic benefits we would achieve. DOT is asking both us and Delta to give up 16 percent of the proposed transaction at LGA and 33 percent of the transaction at DCA and they are severely limiting the potential field of airlines that can purchase the slots from us. Second, for a hub and spoke carrier like US Airways, this proposed ruling and divestiture negatively impacts both the consumer and economic benefits that would have been created by the proposed transaction. Third, this decision will result in the loss of opportunity for our country’s smaller- and medium-sized communities that would have benefited from new service from both DCA and LGA as a result of this transaction. Among the benefits our proposed transaction would have created is both airlines’ ability to not only maintain but to also add new nonstop service between two of America ’s top business markets and small- and medium-sized communities across the United States . Providing service to those smaller communities is one key benefit a larger hub and spoke carrier provides across our country, and today’s announcement by DOT creates more obstacles to keeping this service and growing service in these smaller markets.
We appreciate the support our employees, as well as our customers and elected and community leaders, voiced for this transaction. At this point, while we are still analyzing the DOT’s proposed ruling, we expect that if the DOT’s order is implemented as proposed (there is a 30-day public comment period before the ruling becomes final) the transaction will not go forward.
If the order stands as proposed and the transaction does not go forward, we will continue to fly our regional jet and turboprop operation at LGA but we will not be able to expand at DCA. Without this transaction, we also will not be able to offer our customers the new international flights to Sao Paulo , Brazil and Tokyo , Japan that we would have secured from Delta. All of this, of course, will make it harder for us to return to profitability, which is not good for the people of US Airways. As we have consistently said though, LGA remains a valuable asset, which we will continue to operate and support as next steps are determined. This would eliminate the need for the previously announced furloughs in station personnel at LGA and other impacted stations. However, this would not impact our previously announced crew base closures in BOS, LAS and LGA because we never planned to reduce mainline flying at LGA as a result of this transaction.
While our Legal and Public Affairs teams continue to work to bring this transaction to a positive conclusion, the best thing for all of us is to simply keep focused on running a great airline and taking care of our customers. In an industry that has lost 160,000 jobs in the last decade, and that is working hard to engage in self-help measures to stabilize the long-term future for our employees, today’s news is disappointing. We’ll continue to work hard on your behalf to ensure US Airways prospers in the future, in spite of today’s news, and I have every confidence we’ll be successful in this endeavor. Thanks again for all of your hard work. We will keep you posted on our progress.
Scott Kirby
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