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PghUSA

Pennsylvania Airports Update

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PghUSA    0

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04169/333048.stm

The interim CEO--the 3rd one in 4 years, is gonna open the books to the pilot union, guess theres gonna be lots more pilots for Southwest, Independence Air, JetBlue, Freedom Air, and Airtran now. Discounters, no-hubbers are taking over. Good, now we can get cheaper fares at PIT.

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BrandonTO416    77

Pittsburgh will have some tough times withstanding the initial shocks of these job losses, but it'll bounce back with time. First when its de-hubbed completely, there will be a huge gap to fill. Thereafter it will take several years for various carriers to come in and fill some of the gaps until it stabilizes. Afterwards, it will be better for the long run as the airport will not be reliant on one airline so heavily. Prices will be cheaper for flying in and out of the airport, and the community will benefit by increased accessibility and air travel because of that.

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PghUSA    0

heckels the glory days of "the atlanta of the north" when 80% of flights went through Pittsburgh (at least on USAirways) are gone forever, the hub system is being replaced by a direct connect system of the Southwests and JetBlues. Charlotte I think is gonna have it bad too, both airports survive off hub and maintence, the traffic orginating at both are nill compared to the # of flights they get. Philly and LaGuardia and National will survive better being in top 10 markets. USAirways is going under, I can't see how they will survive. Now Independence Air and Freedom Air went online along with Airtran, JetBlue, Southwest and soon Project Roam will take flight, thats 6 SIX discounters along with Ted and Song from United and Delta, the majors don't stand a chance anymore. $200 tickets a week before where these new guys are offering TVs in every seat, every seat first-class and $90 the day before for a ticket, can't compete with that no way no how.

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PghUSA    0

This could be huge so I wanted to update you all, the State has been debating legalizing slots (and reaping the major tax dollars from them)now a proposal would address the airport's debt with the proceeds, making it VERY attractive to the lowfares and USAirways!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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PghUSA    0

http://www.flypittsburgh.com/NewsEventsServlet?option=stats

Here is the link to the official Airport stats, in 2002 and 2003 traffic went WAY down but largely that was the 9-11 effect. This year traffic is coming back but its filling the slots USAirways is abandoning, so its a wash, but Pittsburgh isn't losing flight service just expanding it (we are losing employees though, and maintence and customer service staff).

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PghUSA    0

Looks like USAirways is staying in Pittsburgh for awhile longer, either that or George W. and JFKerry might be kissing the White House goodbye:

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE 7/4/2004:

The Bush administration, needing Pennsylvania to beat Kerry, "can't let (US Airways) fail," said Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Because the presidential race is so close, Madonna believes four states will determine the election: Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania. Bush has already been to Pennsylvania more than two dozen times, and Kerry has made his share of visits, too, even spending part of this holiday weekend in the Pittsburgh area.

"They don't get any more important than our state," Madonna said. "That is the bottom line."

The Bush administration, Madonna added, could find itself divided between those who believe US Airways should succeed or fail on its own and those who "don't want to lose (US Airways) in the election cycle" and "don't want some horrible announcement coming this fall about the bankruptcy of a major airline."

A US Airways union leader put it more bluntly.

"Will the administration be willing to put out 13,000 employees in the state of Pennsylvania on the unemployment line one month before the election?" asked Bill Gray, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 547. "I think the Bush administration would be foolish to attempt to cause the unemployment of that many people with a high visibility company that affects so much of our economy in the commonwealth and ability of businesses in our state to travel."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04186/341048.stm

interested in hearing your thoughts on that. :)

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PghUSA    0

monsoon, LOL!

I have to feel sorry for a dude named . . .

Terry . . .

. . . Madonna

but I have to give him a nod, the dude has a point, Bush can't lose Pa. and Kerry's Senate power and record can be used as a positive if he influences Pa. in a positive way. The basket case that is so easy to solve with a big fat check from the government is Pittsburgh International and the USAirways employee center in the city. Hey as they say in every hometown in America LET THE PORK ROLL! If USAirways is playing political footballs with any of there "focus cities" it is Pittsburgh, sorry Charlotte but they just aren't fighting over you guys as much as they are us. ;) Well thats all if you want to believe a dude with two girl names lol.

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BrandonTO416    77

US Airways' hub presence in Pittsburgh is not going to have an effect on the Presidential election in Pennsylvania.

The long time problem with historically industrial cities like Pittsburgh is that everytime 5,000 new-economy jobs are created, you'd lose 6-10,000 industrial style jobs.

However, Pittsburgh is reaching an equilibrium of sorts. The US absolutely has to have at least some manufacturing. When there is no industry to lose, you can't lose more jobs. So the future for Pittsburgh isn't that gloomy - the hardest days are behind the city.

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PghUSA    0

Post-Gazette 8/4/2004:

Low-fare carrier Independence Air officially introduced itself to Pittsburgh yesterday, extolling the benefits of new airline competition as it prepares to launch eight daily nonstop flights to Washington Dulles International Airport starting Aug. 23.

Local officials hailed the carrier's arrival, first announced in May, as a sign that the airport can attract low-cost competition even as US Airways is planning to cut a third of its local flights.

As US Airways has slowly pulled flights from Pittsburgh International and announced its intention for deeper cuts by November, Continental Express added service to Cleveland; ATA introduced new service to Chicago's Midway Airport; American Airlines started service to Miami; and USA 3000 began serving three cities in Florida. Northwest Airlines also is reinstating two daily flights to Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 16; AirTran is adding another flight to Orlando, Fla., in October; and United Airlines is adding two new daily flights to Denver that month.

. . .

again USAirways loss is pittsburgh's flying customers gains.

heckles, on your point with the presidential election, Bush AND Kerry AND edwards AND cheney have spent the MAJORITY of campaign time in the Pittsburgh International Airport's customer base, Notice all the stops in Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Beaver, Pennsylvania, all the stops in Youngstown, Akron, Mansfield Ohio, all the stops in Wheelling, Wierton, West Virginia, this is similar to Newark, Bridgeport, New Haven, and White Plains, those are not 3 seperate states thats all one big metroplex, all the campaigning in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Viriginia if you haven't noticed is all around the Pittsburgh Metro, Kerry and Bush keep reffering to "Eastern Ohio" "Northern West Virginia" etc. with the exception of a few of the towns in the extreme north being close to Cleveland, this whole region uses as its port of entry to the world none other then Pittsburgh International Airport, so yes outside of some of the Cleveland suburbs and Florida, the region that is served by Pittsburgh International Airport-Pennsylvania, West Virginia-Ohio is very key in the race and jobs at that regions world trade center--which is what the airport here is--are key to keeping those small towns jobs in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, thats why outside of florida, and run of the mill campaign stops through the states, the vast majority of the appearances are all Wheeling, Stubenville, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Youngstown, so those jobs count, they count a lot.

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PghUSA    0

USAirways should worry less about Pittsburgh and more about how to sell its logo, its the only thing of value that will be left in a year. Eastern Airlines and PanAm got some dough for theres.

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PghUSA    0

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE:

Onorato, Rendell talk up Pittsburgh to US Airways CEO

Elected officials hope to save reservation center here

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05005/437231.stm

"The two officials also are trying to keep US Airways maintenance facilities in Pittsburgh, as well. The airline has indicated in bankruptcy documents that it intends to close one of its centers -- the other is in Charlotte, N.C. -- to save $40 million a year."

Charlotte and Pittsburgh in a bidding war over an airline that could very well go under, this is kinda sad.

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urbanophile    0

Looks as if Pittsburgh is going to lose both of its European flights in November as USAir has announced it will halt flights to London & Frankfurt.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I believe this makes Pittsburgh the largest metro area in the country without any inter-continental flights (unless St. Louis has also lost all of theirs).

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PghUSA    0

That is an interesting question, although I don't believe that I would think the other 27 or so metros above Pittsburgh would also be lacking Trans-Continental direct flights. It is only a matter of time however --with Bayer's NorthAmerican HQ needing direct access to Germany's Gobal HQ, as well as SKGlaxo Consumer NA HQ needing access to UK Global-- that a Luftansa or a BA will startup.

It'd be nice too to fly across the Atlantic in an airline that isn't in bankrupcty for a change.

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mjcatl2    6

And now USEless Air is cutting 800 jobs from Pgh. In all of their troubles, Pittsburgh has been on the worst end of it. The pain has not been shared. I hate to see more lose their jobs there, but the reality is more job cuts in Pittsburgh will be on the way. The region and state should wash their hands of them. All USEless Air does it take, screw up and ultimately hurt Pittsburgh. We are seeing a national trend of smaller better run airlines and these airlines are in fact coming to Pittsburgh. It is a wrong to think that the losses will be made up by these smaller airlines in terms of jobs, but at least the routes will be returning to some extent. Given the reality of the losses to come, again I say the country and state should say bye to USEless Air and not give anymore.

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PghUSA    0

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05028/449245.stm

The loss of 800 reservations jobs is a blow (especially since the regional mayor Onorato is claiming they were cheated). USAirways though has planted firm roots (the deciding factor in the NC reservation jobs) in Pittsburgh for Airbus maintence. IF the airline survives they will be buying only Airbus from now on and currently half their fleet is Airbus, Pittsburgh will be the maintence hub for the airline going forward. Under current plans Charlotte and Alabama will repair the Boeigns in the fleet and Pittsburgh all Airbus. Today thats a 50/50 split but if things turn out well for USAirways Pittsburgh will be the maintence HQ for the all-airbus company in 4-6 years. Then again USAirways won't see 2006 so what really is NC and Pittsburgh "winning". I hope they do but I will be shocked if they do survive.

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PghUSA    0

PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL HAS BEST CONCESSIONS 3 Years in a row!

Add it to the trophy case, along with JDPower's and Conde Nast's #1 Rankings and consistent top 3 annual rankings . . . as well as being ranked best airport for Wi-Fi!

Turns out this is the 3rd straight #1 ranking for Pittsburgh International, and again they cite the design, layout and capacity of Conde Nasts & JD Power's best airport for helping it with the concession gate.

Pittsburgh Business Times 2/15/2005:

Trade mag says Pittsburgh airport has best concessions

Pittsburgh International Airport has the best concession program among mid-sized airports, a trade publication said Monday.

It is the third straight year Pittsburgh International has won the best overall concession program, according to Airport Revenue News, a trade publication for airport retailing.

"It is an honor to continue to be recognized among the finest examples of airport retailing in the nation," Allegheny County Airport Authority executive director Kent George said. "In this changing industry,

recognition for quality airport amenities and our excellent customer service grows more and more important."

A panel of judges from Airport Revenue News said Pittsburgh International Airport "continues to be the standard and is blessed with the best terminal design and layout plan... the program is still the best airport shopping mall with a great mix of nationally branded stores all with excellent exposure to passengers."

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stinkweed    0

Th was report in today Inquirer. I guess it fits into your thread?

Airport soars on low-fare updraft

Southwest's arrival has brought improvements and more passengers to the once-unpopular hub.

By Tom Belden

Inquirer Staff Writer

A decade ago, experienced travelers avoided Philadelphia International Airport like a middle seat on a crowded flight. The food was terrible, the rest rooms were unkempt, construction dust was a constant companion, and, most annoying, airfares were among the nation's highest.

Today, practically everything has changed. The airport not only looks better, but ticket prices have plunged, and the place is bulging with business.

The airport accommodated a record 28.5 million passengers last year, a 15.5 percent increase over 2003, and sales in its shops, bars and restaurants were up 23 percent at $108 million.

The airport's sudden popularity is a direct result of the arrival in May of discount king Southwest Airlines, and the response that its lower fares forced on US Airways, the airline with almost two-thirds of the airport's traffic.

In last year's third quarter, Philadelphia had the largest drop in average ticket prices - 27.4 percent - of any airport in the nation, compared with the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Prices to Manchester, N.H., and Providence, R.I., two Southwest routes, dropped more than 80 percent, and traffic to those destinations increased tenfold. To Chicago, fares fell by 46 percent and traffic rose by 52 percent.

The airport's success has not quieted all of its critics, of course. Some passengers can tick off a long list of complaints - about poor baggage service, delays waiting for flights to take off, and long lines at ticket counters, security checkpoints and parking exits at peak travel times.

Even if US Airways, which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in 21/2 years, were to disappear, the growth in Philadelphia's traffic would not pause for long, airport officials are convinced. The region's population would prompt other airlines to fill in most of the gaps within months, city Aviation Director Charles J. Isdell said.

On the flip side, were traffic to continue climbing at a double-digit pace, airport managers have plans to add more gates, retail stores and eateries and are forging ahead with controversial plans to reconfigure runways over the next decade to accommodate more flights.

No one is happier about the boom than those selling food, drink and Philadelphia souvenirs.

"This is the busiest year we've had in sales performance since we've been here, starting in 1994," said Clarence LeJeune, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace Redwood L.P., the airport's retail developer and manager. "We've experienced those increases in all categories, in bars, restaurants, newsstands and shops, and it's been throughout the whole airport." Retail employment has gone up to more than 1,500 from 1,300 a year ago, he said.

Retailers are relieved that US Airways didn't fold this winter, which would have left vast swaths of the airport dark. The airline has cut its labor costs and restructured its finances, which its executives say has given it the resources to stay in business for the time being.

"We're very happy Southwest came in," said Iris Goldschmidt, president of Airport Wireless/Palm One, which has electronics stores in three Philadelphia terminals and whose sales went up more than 20 percent last year. "I was pleasantly surprised because I was very worried with US Airways' bankruptcy what would happen."

Most of the increase in sales came from the company's store in Terminal E, where Southwest is, she said.

The influx in Terminal E, which two years ago was the airport's least-used concourse, prompted the airport to design an overhaul that will combine the ticket counters, security checkpoints, baggage-claim areas and concessions in the terminal with those next door in Terminal D, airport chief of staff Jeff Shull said.

When that work is completed in about three years, the E concourse will have at least four more gates, and a combined D-E security checkpoint will have 14 lanes, twice what the terminals have at separate checkpoints now, Shull said.

Even if traffic continued to increase at last year's pace, he said, "we would try to become as efficient as we can. We'll continue to find ways to improve the facility."

Shull said the airport's parking garages and lots have proved adequate to meet the increased business. The seven-story D-E-F garage, built in anticipation of low-fare airlines such as Southwest starting service, has never been full.

The airport's bustling atmosphere is actually welcomed by some of its most frequent users. Steve Lapin of Melrose Park, Montgomery County, who has been a US Airways customer since 1977 and who flies somewhere on business every week, knows the airport intimately and likes what has happened.

"I think the terminal is great," he said last week, just before making another trip to the airport, this time to pick up a friend. "It's clean, and there are plenty of people around to ask for information."

Perhaps most surprising, Lapin said, is that in his experience, despite the surge in passengers, "flight delays have not gone up. They are not worse" than in the past.

Many others would disagree. Month after month, Philadelphia has one of the worst records for on-time flight arrivals and departures, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. In December, fewer than two-thirds of the flights took off or landed on time, ranking Philadelphia dead last among the nation's 31 largest airports.

But airline and airport officials say that aspect of the airport's operations is improving, even without building more runways.

Early this month, US Airways changed the way it schedules flights at its major airports, including Philadelphia, which serves as its principal connecting hub for international service. The airline increased its Philadelphia flights by 10 percent but is spreading them more throughout each day, rather than clustering them into a half-dozen banks of arrivals and departures when passengers make connections.

US Airways president Bruce R. Lakefield said the new schedule quickly drew "unsolicited congratulations" from the Federal Aviation Administration, which reported an immediate reduction in air-traffic congestion on the East Coast.

"The peaks and valleys have been flattened," Lakefield told employees in a recorded message. "Given Philadelphia's tight physical layout, this... concept will help ease ground congestion while still maintaining our hub operations."

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