US Airways airplane
Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

The Last Flight to Be Operated by US Airways Will Be…

lthough the airline technically no longer exists since the operating certificates of US Airways and American Airlines were combined into one single operating certificate as approved by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States effective as of Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the last flight to be operated by US Airways will be flight 434 — an overnight flight which is scheduled to depart from San Francisco at approximately 10:00 in the evening Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, October 16, 2015; and is scheduled to land at Philadelphia International Airport sometime after 6:00 in the morning Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, October 17, 2015 — and the official Internet web site of US Airways will shut down, according to this article written by David Koenig of the Associated Press.

Additionally, airport kiosks and signs will change to American Airlines.

It all started with this announcement back in February of 2013; and although frequent fliers have debated as to who really took over whom, the airlines officially merged on Monday, December 9, 2013 — becoming the largest airline in the world in terms of passenger traffic as a result, taking the title from United Airlines, which in turn de-throned Delta Air Lines on Friday, August 27, 2010, which had become the largest airline in the world on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 when its merger with Northwest Airlines was approved by the Department of Justice of the United States — and the combined entity used the American Airlines name.

Ironically, the original name of US Airways was All American Aviation when it was founded back in 1937; and then the name of the Pittsburgh-based airline became All American Airways in 1949. Now it truly is all-American aviation.

Northwest Airlines faded into history in December of 2009 when a single operating certificate was approved for Delta Air Lines; and Continental Airlines became nothing more than a memory in November of 2011 when a single operating certificate was approved for United Airlines, although — as with American Airlines and US Airways — it has been debated in both cases which airline actually survived despite the official name of the airline which survived.

I have little sentiment for US Airways. I never cared for their logos and livery from 1997 onwards. I did not like when they charged a fee to redeem Dividend Miles for an award ticket. I did not fly on the airline as a passenger in its former incarnations — such as Piedmont Airlines or Allegheny Airlines. This does not mean that I wanted to see the airline disappear by any means — it simply was not an airline of choice for me.

Regardless, another piece of commercial aviation history in the United States sadly bites the dust.

Rest in peace, US Airways.

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

  1. This whole sentence isn’t accurate – “the airlines officially merged on Monday, December 9, 2013 — becoming the largest airline in the world in terms of passenger traffic as a result, taking the title from United Airlines on Friday, August 27, 2010, which in turn de-throned Delta Air Lines on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 — and the combined entity used the American Airlines name.” United didn’t de-throne Delta in 2008; Delta and Northwest merged in 2008, United and Continental in 2010. And by the same logic AA didn’t take the title from United on 2010, as its merger with US was approved in late 2013.

    1. That is one of those instances where the dates did not synchronize with what I intended to write — especially as the links are to articles which I wrote — and I will correct that paragraph.

      Thank you for pointing that out, 02nz.

  2. I never flew on US Airways but am ok with that. The flight hasn’t occurred yet so I won’t say RIP… yet. 😉

  3. I have never been a US Airways fan. Even that name change from US Air to US Airways was dumb. I never liked the livery, or the hard product (no IFE on flights to the Caribbean even in First Class), and their clubs are nothing to write home about.

    One thing I did like was their network included many Caribbean destinations. One main reason why I never went out of my way to fly them was not only for the reasons above, but their total mismanagement and terrible exit of Pittsburgh.

    From Wiki (and it is accurate based on family I know in the area).
    “The May 1995 timetable shows USAir nonstops from PIT to 91 airports, plus 28 more on USAir Express. By the late 1990s growth had leveled off, with USAir (later US Airways) concentrating on expanding at Philadelphia and Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. In 1997 the airport handled almost 21 million passengers, more than any previous year. Tough economic conditions for airlines at the start of the 21st century, the September 11 attacks, and high operating costs at the airport put the US Airways hub in Pittsburgh at a serious disadvantage. By 2003, US Airways reported to be running a $40 million loss per year operating its hub at Pittsburgh while paying roughly 80% of the new airport’s $673 million debt stemming from its requested construction of the new terminals. After failed negotiations to lower landing fees and debt obligation, the airline announced in 2004 that it would be reducing operations at Pittsburgh, shifting operations to Charlotte and Philadelphia. By the end of 2005 the airline had eliminated 7,000 jobs while operating roughly 200 flights per day, mostly domestic. All service to Europe had ceased to operate. A year later, the airline had only about 170 flights per day to and from Pittsburgh, most being domestic flights. Unrelenting flight and job cuts continued through the decade, as well as closure of Concourse E on the Landside Terminal and Concourse A on the Airside Terminal. By the end of the decade US Airways was down to 68 flights per day, operating from ten gates on Concourse B, and one US Airways Club location. Numerous US Airways ticketing and customer service counters were abandoned, and 15 gates on Concourse A and B were sealed off from the rest of the airport.

    So basically they partnered with Pittsburgh to build a new airport. They did. When the cost became too high they left. What a crappy way to do business. They should have honored their obligation. Even if they did move operation and jobs away, as a business they are absolutely entitled to do that, they should have paid the costs associated with the building of the terminal at their request.

    1. I did not like the name change from US Air to US Airways either, Captain Kirk.

      As for US Airways and its obligation to Pittsburgh…well…they are far from the only company who does business in that manner.

      As an example, here is a story pertaining to a company which was lured to a particular state with tax breaks — only to move to a different state when those tax breaks expired:

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