US Airways President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Siegel expressed his appreciation to the U.S. Senate leadership for taking action today to strip language from a supplemental appropriations bill that would have hindered or possibly prevented the company from securing a federal loan guarantee this summer.
During debate this morning on the omnibus spending bill, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, and ranking member Ted Stevens offered a committee amendment to strike a provision that would have reduced the amount of the loan guarantee pool, as well as delayed until Oct. 1, 2002, the issuance of a loan guarantee by the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
Siegel said that US Airways recognizes that many employees and union leaders provided key support leading to the action taken today by the Senate. He also expressed his appreciation to a number of Senators who were helpful, including Senators Byrd, Stevens, Hollings, McCain, Santorum, Specter, Rockefeller, Hutchison, Warner, Allen and Helms. In addition, North Carolina Senate candidates Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles also were helpful.
“Today’s action sends a strong signal that any last-minute changes in the airline loan guarantee program established after September 11 are clearly unacceptable,” said Siegel. “We have been working to meet the June 28 application deadline as established last fall when Congress enacted the airline recovery program, and continue to negotiate with our employee groups, vendors, lessors and other stakeholders to secure cost reductions that will strengthen our case for a loan guarantee. US Airways is too important of an economic asset to hundreds of communities up and down the East Coast to allow this company to fail. The support we have received from our employees over the past ten days is gratifying as we seek to rebuild labor-management relations and work together to build a path to success.”