America West Asks DOT for Additional Service

America West Airlines announced today that it has filed an application
with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide two daily
nonstop flights between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
and its primary hub in Phoenix and one daily nonstop flight to its hub in
Las Vegas. The airline also noted in its filing that if the DOT chooses to
award exemption slots to markets that are not hub markets—namely, Los
Angeles and San Francisco—the DOT should choose America West to serve
these markets. Should those markets be considered, the airline requested
beyond-perimeter slots to operate two daily nonstop flights to Los Angeles
and two daily nonstop flights to San Francisco, and one additional daily
nonstop flight to Phoenix.

“We believe America West`s application most closely meets the requirements
of Vision 100 as we are the largest low-fare hub and spoke full-service
airline and have a proven, successful track record in meeting all four of
the original exemption requirements,” said America West Senior Vice
President, Public Affairs C.A. Howlett. “Since we began providing nonstop
competitive service at DCA nearly three years ago, our service has
generated more than $148 million in savings annually for customers
traveling from DCA to the West. With an affirmative answer from DOT to our
request for additional service at DCA to our Phoenix and Las Vegas hubs,
we anticipate consumers traveling to Phoenix, Las Vegas and 44 points
beyond these two cities would save an additional $47 million annually.”

America West`s application notes a level playing field is needed so that
America West has an equal opportunity to compete against the large legacy
carriers that still dominate DCA-to-the-West service.

Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales Scott Kirby said, “Although
we believe Phoenix and Las Vegas awards more closely match the spirit of
Vision 100`s beyond-perimeter exemptions, should the DOT elect to award
service to Los Angeles or San Francisco, we believe America West is the
only low-fare full-service airline with the size and scope to change the
historically high pricing currently in place in these markets. We`ve
demonstrated our ability to generate consumer savings with our new nonstop
transcontinental service. Similar to the annual savings generated on our
DCA-to-the-West service, our nonstop service between Los Angeles and
Boston and New York/JFK has generated significant savings for consumers,
primarily by bringing price competition to routes dominated by legacy
carriers. Fares on both of those routes have been reduced by 40 percent,
saving consumers a minimum of $200 million a year. Should we receive slots
to operate nonstop service to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix from
DCA, we believe consumers could realize savings of approximately $140
million annually.”
If approved, America West`s service would provide significant connecting
opportunities to 44 additional markets in the western United States. With
the passage of the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act,
Congress specifically called for the creation of more DCA-to-the-West
network competition by new entrant low-fare carriers. America West`s route
system serves more passengers in the western U.S. than any of the
new-entrant network carriers.

America West Airlines is the nation`s second largest low-fare airline and
the only carrier formed since deregulation to achieve major airline
status. America West`s 13,000 employees serve nearly 55,000 customers a
day in 93 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.