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News Article - January 23, 2007

US Airways: No service pullback  
  PHOENIX - US Airways Group Inc. said yesterday that if it acquired Delta Air Lines Inc., the combined carrier would continue to fly to every city that both airlines currently serve. But US Airways spokesman Phil Gee said the company would not decide whether to curtail the number of flights to various cities until it could get a better look at Delta's business operations. "We just don't know yet," Gee said.

   In November, US Airways made an unsolicited takeover bid for Delta. Earlier this month, it increased the offer to $10.3 billion. Delta, of Atlanta, is reviewing the US Airways takeover bid, although its management and pilots' union have repeatedly said they oppose it. US Airways is the primary carrier serving Philadelphia International Airport, with almost two-thirds of the traffic.

   The Tempe, Ariz., airline spoke about its plans after Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) told its chief executive officer, Doug Parker, that a combined airline could mean fewer flights - and higher prices - for Upstate New York fliers. Schumer said that if it bought Delta, the carrier would operate all the commercial flights serving Binghamton, about half the flights in Syracuse, and more than one-third of the flights in Rochester, Albany and Buffalo.

   US Airways sent Schumer a response Friday saying customers in New York would still see competitive fares. "Customers in those cities will have convenient service to a broader range of destinations on one airline, in one frequent-flyer program," Parker said in the letter, which was released to the news media yesterday.

   US Airways expects to save $1.65 billion in costs each year by trimming its fleet of aircraft, cutting redundant routes, and other synergies. Parker said the company would pass those savings along to its customers in the form of more reasonable fares. "It simply doesn't follow that consolidation should or will lead to higher fares, and we have our own track record - nationally and in New York - to prove it," Parker said. Shares of US Airways Group fell $1.26, or 2 percent, to $57.03 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer



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