America West To Pay Employees More Than $22 Million In Incentive Compensation And Merit Increases

America West Holdings Corporation
(NYSE: AWA) today announced that its board of directors approved the
distribution of $22.1 million in cash incentive compensation and annual merit
increases to its eligible employees following the Company`s record 1998
financial performance.  Next week, approximately 4,800 employees of America
West Airlines who participate in the Company`s AWArd Pay plan will receive
incentive bonuses equal to 12.65 percent of their 1998 earnings and
approximately 400 employees of The Leisure Company, which has a different
compensation plan, will receive 10.43 percent of their 1998 earnings.  An
additional merit increase, averaging four percent of qualifying payroll, will
be paid to all eligible America West Holdings employees over the coming year.
“These incentive awards and merit increases reflect the terrific
performance of the Company and the America West team in 1998,” said William A.
Franke, chairman and chief executive officer.  “Our financial performance in
1998 was by far the best in the Company`s history and our incentive plans are
America West`s way of sharing the Company`s success.”
“AWArd Pay and our merit pay programs are based on the premise that
individual performance can make a difference and offer our non-union employees
profit sharing rewards,” added Franke.  “Under our compensation arrangements,
our participating employees are asked to condition a part of their pay on
their individual performance and the Company`s success.  In a great year, like
1998, those rewards can be significant.”
Eligible full-time and part-time employees of the Company`s two
subsidiaries, America West Airlines and The Leisure Company, participate in
the Company`s incentive and merit increase programs.  Employee groups that do
not participate in AWArd Pay and other incentive programs include employees
who are represented by a union at the time of payment as those employees have
or are in the process of negotiating separate union agreements which may
stipulate alternative compensation arrangements and benefits.
“Under our current agreements, unionized employees do not condition any of
their compensation on individual or Company achievement,” said Franke.
“Unionized employees` pay has generally been based on seniority, not
performance, and they are therefore not included in a performance-based plan
like AWArd Pay.”

West Holdings Corporation is an aviation and travel services
company with 1998 sales of $2.0 billion.  Wholly owned subsidiary America West
Airlines is the nation`s ninth largest carrier serving more than
90 destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  The Leisure Company, also a
wholly owned subsidiary, is one of the nation`s largest tour packagers.

  This press release, as well as releases issued in the past year by America
West Holdings and its affiliates, can be accessed on the America West Internet
site at