US Airways Cuts off Some Limbs

By | October 28, 2009
US Airways A330-300 taking off from London.
Image via Wikipedia

US Airways announced it would lay off 1000 people, approximately 3 percent of its workforce, and focus on four cities and the shuttle service. Here are the details:

  • Reducing Las Vegas from 64 to 36 daily departures – No one is really surprised by this. Las Vegas was a big hub for America West, but there is decreased demand there, and the leisure market there isn’t what it once was, even Allegiant, which built its business on flights to Las Vegas, has diversified.
  • Closing stations in Colorado Springs and Wichita to move the capacity to more profitable routes.
  • Redeploying their 15 E190s on routes between Boston and Philadelphia and the Boston-LaGuardia Shuttle – Now, this is interesting. Delta has gone to E175s on their LaGuardia-Washington route and kept the MD88s on the LaGuardia-Boston route. US Airways would be doing the opposite. But as Washington-National is a focus city for them, it makes sense.
  • Suspending service from Philadelphia; Birmingham, London Gatwick, Milan, Shannon, and Stockholm. Returning its authority to operate to Beijing to the DOT.
  • Closing Crew Bases in Boston, LaGuardia, and Las Vegas.

The slot and facilities swap at LaGuardia/Washington-National with Delta Air Lines will give them increased dominance at National while sacrificing nearly all of their flying out of New York. Which, since we’re admittedly New York based, will limit our flying on them to…mostly what it is now, the shuttle to Washington and Boston.

All in all, this pruning of US Airways will make the company leaner in many forums where there are other airlines who could take up the slack. But if those airlines don’t choose to, it could mean a loss of good service to some communities. Either way, this may result in increased fares by the competition.