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monsoon

USAir is pulling more jobs from Pittsburgh

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I think if USAir pulls this off and survives they may become one of the better airlines out there...but of course changes will need to be made for that to happen, but they seem to be doing fairly well in hanging on and restructuring from the outside...just a really rough time...but I think all businesses go through this at some point.

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Neo I'm not sure how great USAirways is, they are ok but I'd prefer a Southwest or JetBlue. There are a few things that have been omitted here that do not bode well for either Pittsburgh or Charlotte two cities that rely on maintence and not generated traffic (Charlotte wasn't even big enough to keep its NBA team and is now relgated to being a one team town).

A) USAirways is the weakest major, and there is too much excess capacity in the industry, when the oasis aint big enough for all 8 camels the weakest one has to die. With JetBlue, Southwest, Airtran and a host of others undercutting the union heavy USAirways is AGAIN considering bankruptcy for the second time in as many years. They have also gone through 3 CEOs in 4 years (Wolf, Siegel and Lakefield) and now Lakefield is ONLY being called the "interim" CEO so it will be 4 CEOs in as many years soon--this is not a strong airline.

B) The hub and spoke system is falling heavily out of favor, which with Pittsburgh and Charlotte not GENERATING traffic (though Charlotte's expansion shows a bit more promise in that area then Pittsburgh, but nothing that would catapult it to the amount of traffic it got as a hub). Southwest, JetBlue and other "winning" airlines are moving to the "direct point" service, and having only "focus cities" which Pittsburgh will remain for USAirways, but whatever I really don't think they will be around next year at this time. You heard it hear first.

Finally http://www.airports.org/traffic/traf_month.htm, this is the rankings for Airline Traffic, Charlotte and Pittsburgh show up in the "Aircraft Movements" basically counting how many planes land and take off from the Airport (for Hubs and for Airports that may not exceed with Passengers or Cargo--but overall have healthy traffic in both. Pittsburgh even with USAirways cutting back 15% of its traffic outranks:

Seattle's SEATAC

Dulles

Reagan National

Baltimore-Washington

JFK in New York

Cleveland

Kansas City

Tampa

Orlando

San Diego

San Antonio

New Orleans

St. Louis

Jacksonville

Portland

San Jose

Milwaukee

Ft. Lauderdale

Pittsburgh International has also been in the top 3 airports by Conde Nast in the last 5 years and has been the best airport in the US by their measurements three of the last 5 years including this year! I am not that worried about most of what USAirways has in the 'burgh being filled by another carrier.

USAirways in Charlotte is a detriment though more then a blessing, do a search on Pittsburgh and USAirways on the net and you will pull up how people drive 2 hours to take Southwest or Continental out of Cleveland or Akron! It's a catch 22 in Pittsburgh, its a GREAT airport BUT USAirways controls 70% of the traffic so they Name the price, if Southwest or JetBlue put some routes in USAirways (like any monopoly) flys those routes and those alone at or way below cost to drive the competition out of the market, unlike Philly or BWI which Southwest successfully drove a wedge into USAirways market dominance, there isn't the traffic coming from the city like in Philly and the DC suburbs--thus Charlottes problem its strength is a maintence and training hub, not as a destination and departure point so other airlines really can't fill the seats there, and USAirways can set prices extremely high and make up for Philly and BWI with the wallets of North Carolina and Pittsburgh. Good riddence to them, Pittsburgh's Airport is the best in the nation Southwest and JetBlue are looking for any excuse to get in here in a freemarket way.

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Here's hoping Southwest or JetBlue are our collective "bobcats" when USAirways lands its last plane.

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PGH...USAirways will be cutting Pitsburgh flights back 60% from its current level....this will be a huge loss of income for the PIT airport. There will be other airlines that will come in an pick up some of the slack...but I would expect at least PIT to shut down another concourse...meaning that half the airport would be efectively shut down...unused for a while...

The larger loss for PIT will come with all the well paid USAir employees that will leave the PIT area....that trickle down economics will be felt.

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uptown please re-read my last post,

yes of course its bad, USAirways has laid off many and shut down lots of flights, but the Airport will survive, the reason why its 80% of our traffic is that Southwest and JetBlue can't make money in Pittsburgh as long as USAirways hold a monopoly grip on the airport (they can and have slashed prices on those routes to chase the competition away) and they have that same grip on Charlotte. That's why most Pittsburghers won't use Conde Nasts BEST U.S. airport and one that has been in the top 3 the last 5 years and instead will drive to Cleveland's mediocre airport so they can take advantage of low fares from Southwest and others. If USAirways is driving AWAY passengers and carriers from Pittsburgh what are they doing in Charlotte?

Finally USAirways will surprise many if they last into 2005, they have had 3 CEOs in the last 4 years and their current one has yet to be confirmed by the board of directors, it is the WEAKEST company in a VERY WEAK industry that suffers from TOO MANY COMPANIES. All that spells what many on Wall Street are saying of USAirways that they will file Bankrupcty for the 2nd time in as many years soon. So let them rearrange deck chairs on the Titantic all they want. Southwest and JetBlue as well as the "new" JetBlue (Project Roam) which will begin operations in the fall, are all looking a the best airport in the country to set up major shop in. The only reason we don't have the success of an O'Hare or ATL is because Pittsburgh is barely in the top 25 markets, doesn't mean our Airport can't be #1, just that it won't ever be the busiest.

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PIT is a great airport..however it has a big load of debt. When USAirways leaves PIT later this year the per passenger costs for that airport will skyrocket, probably to the highest in the country. Do you think low fare carriers will be willing to pay the premium to serve PIT?

We shall see. It is unfortonate to see a great airport go empty and unused.

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Today:

"[interim CEO]Lakefield declined to offer specifics about how many more jobs could be lost here or how many flights could be reduced. The airline employs a little under 8,000 locally and operates 379 daily flights, and some have suggested those numbers could falls as low as 2,500 and 102.

But he pledged, as he has before, that US Airways will continue to be the "major carrier" in Pittsburgh, with local travelers able to fly where they want to fly "at very competitive rates." He also promised to "save as many jobs as we possibly can for as many people as we can."

Asked if he thought his Arlington, Va.-based airline would still be around a year from now, Lakefield said he is "cautiously optimistic."

For that to happen, though, Lakefield needs help from his workers. This summer, US Airways is trying to coax another $800 million from its labor groups, including $295 million from pilots who already have given the airline $565 million in wage-and-benefit givebacks the past two years.

If the unions do not cooperate, the company has said it may be forced to file for bankruptcy yet again. So far, only the pilots have agreed to enter into discussions about the company's request, and at yesterday's meeting, Lakefield said he told the pilots that "we are partners" and that "everybody has to work together to make this airline successful.""

So they COULD fall as low as 2,500 from 8,000? LOL but then asked if he thinks the airline is going to survive for another year--AFTER ALREADY GETTING close to $600 million in concessions from just ONE union and still needing JUST another $800 million more in concessions so they won't have to "file bankrupcty again" for the 2nd time in as many years! Try they COULD GO AS LOW AS 0 employment here, in Philly, in Charlotte and in Reagan National!

Going on your 4th CEO in as many years isn't a sign things are improving for you. Let's get this thing over with and bring in the JetBlues and Southwests in ways they can COMPETE at PIT!

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04178/337905.stm

if the slots bill passes (finally) for the state, $150 million of it (under one proposal) would go to lessen the airports debt. Not bad not bad at all, with the debt out of the way and the competition barrier that USAirways puts up lessened PIT might be looking very good ecomically for an airport already noted as #1 for its efficency and ambiance!

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And so it continues...

July cuts spell 76% drop-off from 2001 for largest carrier at the airport

US Airways' dramatic retrenchment in Pittsburgh will continue this July as the Tempe, Ariz.-based carrier eliminates service to five cities -- including Baltimore, San Diego and Seattle -- and reduces the frequency of flights to 10 other destinations.

The summer cuts leave only San Francisco and Los Angeles as direct, non-stop West Coast options for Pittsburgh travelers. The decision also brings the total number of flights eliminated by US Airways since late 2001 to 415, a 76 percent drop-off, and leaves Pittsburgh International Airport with only 127 daily flights from its largest carrier.

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This angers me. Part of the reason we built a big new airport was to accomodate USAir. They were supposed to help pay for it. But apparently they feel no loyalty at all, judging by their continued "screw you" attitude.

We need to simply continue wooing other airlines. So far we have some new ones, including Southwest. In the long-run we'll be better off without USAir. But in the short run it really annoys me.

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