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Two days and counting: Multiple AZ Republic articles on HP/US merger

Two days and counting: Multiple AZ Republic articles on HP/US merger

Old Sep 25, 05, 11:24 am
  #1  
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Post Two days and counting: Multiple AZ Republic articles on HP/US merger

In today's Arizona Republic:

Ready to test their strength
Costs, competition, cohesiveness pose threats as heavy lifting begins for 'Project Barbell'

By Dawn Gilbertson
The Arizona Republic

The jibes started as soon as the code name for the America West-US Airways merger talks leaked out in April.

Project Barbell, so named for the airlines' strengths on opposite coasts of the country, was quickly derided as Project Dumbbell. US Airways was bankrupt and the industry was bleeding badly.

The airlines silenced many critics when they unveiled $1.5 billion in financial backing for the deal in May, but the cheering section for the merger has never been big.

Whether the fan club grows or the boos get louder will be decided beginning this week.

The new US Airways, billed as the first nationwide low-cost, full-service airline, is set to debut Tuesday under cloudy industry skies.

For the highly regarded America West executives who crafted the merger and will run the airline, which will be the nation's fifth-largest, it's show time. The merger sales pitches, promises and planning that have consumed them this summer must give way to performance.

Analysts say they have a tall order: Get control of US Airways' unwieldy East Coast network, keep costs down and successfully combine two large workforces with their own agendas. Investors in the deal are confident management is up to the task and say a big cash cushion gives them time to execute.

At stake are nearly 40,000 jobs, frequent non-stop flights in Phoenix and other hub cities, shareholders' money and more.

No one, including America West and soon-to-be US Airways CEO Doug Parker, says the merger is going to be easy. Parker, in fact, says the heavy lifting has just begun. But he says the two airlines are stronger together than apart, especially in this climate. . .(more here)
and

Acquisition: AmWest move runs to reality

Jon Talton
Republic columnist

Now America West Airlines, from its young chief executive to its least-paid employee, will try something that hasn't been done before: Merging with a larger legacy carrier and turning the combined company into a low-cost powerhouse. And the airline intends to do it with the snake-bit, long-suffering US Airways, even keeping the name.

Audacity is not lacking, but it won't guarantee success. Here are four critical areas to watch as the new airline takes flight:

-- Labor. Everybody knows labor costs must be kept down, but that's only part of the challenge. Industry leader Southwest Airlines lacks the overhang of pension costs that dogged the legacy carriers, but its employees are, in fact, well paid. More important, they're well treated, and customers sense it.

The old US Airways repeatedly took a cost-cutting cudgel to its employees. It never fully got its labor expenses down to a competitive level, but successive management teams left a toxic brew of resentment. No wonder it was common to find surly crews on US Airways flights.

Under Doug Parker, America West management began to build a real team throughout the airline. If it can't keep this positive momentum going, the cheapest labor in the world won't make the difference. Pricey golden parachutes for US Airways' brass didn't send a "we're all in this together" message. . .(more here)
and

Merged AmWest preps for new era

Dawn Gilbertson
The Arizona Republic

Which terminal to check-in at Tuesday is just one of the important things you'll need to know if you've booked a flight on America West Airlines or US Airways.

On that day, the merger of the two airlines closes and they start operating as US Airways; all America West flights become US Airways flights.

To ease confusion, the following answers to frequently asked questions are repeated from Friday, Page D1 in the Business section of The Arizona Republic.

Question: What's the new airline going to be called?

Answer: US Airways. The America West name is basically going away after Tuesday. Temporary signage will include both names and telephone reservation agents will say both for a while so travelers aren't confused. Similarly, gate agents will say US Airways Flight 712, operated by America West Airlines, on those routes that formerly were America West's.

America West planes also will keep the company name and logo on them until they are repainted over the next year.

Q: Where do I check in after the merger?

A: In Phoenix, it depends when you're flying. If your flight leaves before Oct. 4, check your travel documents to see who's operating your flight. If it's America West, check in at Terminal 4. If it's US Airways, go to Terminal 2.

Beginning Oct. 4, the airlines' operations at Sky Harbor International Airport will be combined in America West's location, so all America West/US Airways flights will leave from Terminal 4.

In all cities, look for airport signage to direct you and call the airline before your departure for more information.

Q: Where do I buy tickets after the merger?. . .(more here)

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; Sep 25, 05 at 11:27 am Reason: fix code
AZ Travels the World is offline  
Old Sep 25, 05, 1:16 pm
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Thank you! All interesting reads. Makes me sad though that my flights in November wont be HP anymore :-( And sad to hear when I was flying on UA yesterday listening to Channel 9 that I was hearing the call sign "Cactus" for the last time. But, it's time to look ahead!
olympicnut is offline  
Old Sep 25, 05, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by olympicnut
Thank you! All interesting reads. Makes me sad though that my flights in November wont be HP anymore :-( And sad to hear when I was flying on UA yesterday listening to Channel 9 that I was hearing the call sign "Cactus" for the last time. But, it's time to look ahead!
Actually the flights will more than likely still be America West...they won't start changing the numbers until they integrate the fleets..which will start early next year.
Joeypete is offline  
Old Sep 26, 05, 11:25 am
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the article said otherwise.
DeacDiggler is offline  

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