Potomac Air, the wholly owned US Airways Express carrier established in January as part of an asset divestiture plan for the failed merger agreement with United Airlines, ceased operations on October 6. The demise of the Washington-based subsidiary came as US Airways’ reduced capacity throughout its wholly owned Express system since September 11, a move that resulted in the furlough of 770 employees, including 170 at Potomac Air.
US Airways Express
Last year saw reasonably brisk activity in the regional turboprop business, as the Western world’s remaining players scrambled to hold their positions during a period of continuing sluggishness in the air-transport sector.
US Airways can no longer point to the lack of a pilot deal for any further delays in the launch of MidAtlantic Airways, as members of the Air Line Pilots Association dropped a grievance over Embraer 170 payscales. Under the settlement, the pilots accepted pay on par with that of American Eagle CRJ700 pilots, and dropped their demands
The recent run of big orders for new turboprops has no doubt lifted the spirits of the two remaining builders of prop-driven airliners.
US Airways last month demanded a “forthcoming” agreement on merger terms between employee groups of wholly owned subsidiaries Piedmont and Allegheny Airlines in return for an “orderly” transition from two separate entities into one. The airline issued the ultimatum when it announced its intention to consolidate the operations of the units and transfer Allegheny’s fleet of 41 de Havilland Dash 8-100s to Piedmont’s certificate by March 31.
Republic Airways became the second regional airline to claim a stake in US Airways last month when it inked a conditional deal to commit $125 million in equity and up to $110 million in asset-related financing.
Mesa Air Group last month won the rights to the assets of bankrupt Midway Airlines after outbidding Connecticut-based investment firm Wexford Capital by some $550,000.
US Airways expects to launch Embraer E190 service from Philadelphia this month, marking the first application of the Brazilian narrowbody in mainline service in the U.S. Plans call for the dual-class, 99-seat jets to link Philadelphia with Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Dallas; Providence, R.I.; and Manchester, N.H.
Last month’s decision by United Airlines to cut loose Air Wisconsin Airline Corp. (AWAC) from its stable of regional affiliates might not have come as a surprise to Geoff Crowley and company, but the drawn-out divorce will no doubt leave a wound that might take more than the comfort of a new partner to fully heal.
Raytheon Beech 1900D, Rockland, Maine, Aug. 2, 2005–As Colgan Air Flight 4972, dba US Airways Express, was taking off from Knox County Regional Airport, the yoke did not move when the commercial-rated first officer called, “V1 rotate.” The ATP-rated captain pulled harder and the yoke came back abruptly and the airplane “jumped” into the air. The captain said he was able to maintain controlled flight.