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America West Receives Finance Strategy Award

America West Airlines announced
today that it has received Airline Business’ 2004 Strategy Award in the
category of finance for executing a unique and successful financial
turnaround.Approximately 200 senior airline executives attended the
Strategy Awards presentation, which took place in London on Sunday, July
The Awards recognize six airlines among the world’s carriers in the
categories of finance, marketing, technology, operations and leadership.
Judges included two industry icons, former American Airlines CEO Robert
Crandall and Yale Law Professor Mike Levine, both considered industry
icons and eminent revenue management experts. America West was noted for
taking quick and decisive action to improve its operational performance,
its bold fare restructuring move implemented in early 2002, and its
remarkable financial turnaround.

Accepting the award on behalf of America West’s 13,000 employees was Vice
President and Treasurer Tom Weir, who said, “It’s an honor to be
recognized for our efforts, especially by the very distinguished judges
panel, and I note some of them are former competitors so their recognition
is especially noteworthy. America West’s willingness to take necessary
business risks and reinvent itself is one of the reasons our turnaround
has been successful. We look forward to continuing the positive momentum
put into place by our outstanding employees over the last several years.”

America West received the Finance Award as a result of the airline’s
radical transformation from a business model that resembled a legacy
carrier to a full service low-cost carrier. The transformation was led by
America West’s fare restructuring in March 2002, when it lowered its
business fares by 40 to 70 percent below most other major airlines and
eliminated the Saturday night stay requirement. The airline made similar
changes with its first class fares, lowering them by up to 70 percent,
positioning America West as the only airline offering low fares with
first-class amenities. Airline Business also applauded America West for
investing in customer-oriented projects such as check-in kiosks and
“buy-on-board” meal service. In addition, the award recognized America
West’s growth strategy including focusing on expanding its Phoenix and Las
Vegas hubs, ordering 22 Airbus A319/320s and posting five consecutive
profitable quarters.

Airline Business, read by airline leaders worldwide, is a London-based
international monthly for airline boardrooms.