America West Responds To Forbes Article

America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) offered
today the following response to an article appearing in Forbes ranking the
nation`s airlines:

“It is unusual that nearly halfway through the year 2001, Forbes is
presenting 2000 data as a current report on the performance of the nation`s
major airlines, particularly when more current—and, as a result, more
reliable—Department of Transportation performance data is available to the
public and to the research team at Forbes,” said Doug Parker, president.
“Ironically, the current data tells a much more positive story about America
West than that told by Forbes.

“We have acknowledged time and again that our performance was not
satisfactory during the summer of 2000, as last year`s performance data
indicates.  There is no news here.  The real news is the dramatic improvement
that has occurred at America West since we established an Operational
Reliability Improvement Plan in August 2000.  Through the first quarter of
2001, America West`s on-time performance improved to 68.7 percent compared
with 64.7 percent in the same period of 2000.  The percentage of flights
cancelled dropped to 3 percent from 4.5 percent to place America West near the
top of the industry.  America West also posted a 20-percent year-over-year
improvement in mishandled baggage, placing the airline in the top one-third of
the industry.  As a result of these significant improvements, customer
complaints for the quarter dropped 50 percent compared with the first quarter

“Our customers have noticed this improvement and have applauded our
efforts, as is evidenced by our recent industry-leading increases in load
factor (the percentage of available seats filled by paying passengers).”
“Even more disturbing than the use by Forbes of outdated information is
the use of flawed weighting methodology and the tabloid approach adopted by
Forbes,” said Jim Sabourin, vice president of corporate communications.  “To
claim that the carrier has `broken stewardesses` legs` is irresponsible and
amateurish.  It is also an insult to our company and its industry-leading
safety record.  With journalism of this type, one can only wonder if this is a
ploy by Forbes to sell more magazines in an effort to catch up to its

“Had Mr. Farnham simply contacted America West, which he did not do,
Forbes and its readers would have the current facts—not outdated
information twisted to substantiate a pre-determined thesis.  It appears that
Mr. Farnham wrote the script before he wrote his story.


“We look forward to reading about our much-improved service in a future
issue of Forbes.”