US Airways today
announced it will significantly restructure its flight schedule beginning Feb.
6, 2005, as the company continues implementing its Transformation Plan.“With our February schedule, we will lay the groundwork for a complete
overhaul of the US Airways business model, a design that uniquely combines the
best business practices of both legacy and low-cost carriers,” said B. Ben
Baldanza, US Airways senior vice president of marketing and planning.
“Improved aircraft utilization and changes to hub operations will allow us to
operate approximately 230 more daily flights, the equivalent of adding 27
mainline airplanes and 15 regional jets (RJs) to our fleet at today’s
utilization levels, without acquiring additional aircraft.”
Key elements of the new schedule, which assumes a fleet of 281 mainline
aircraft and 169 RJs:
* Significant changes at Philadelphia, where traditional flight-connecting
banks will be replaced by a “rolling” structure;
* The addition of two new flight-connecting banks in Charlotte, N.C.,
combined with significant capacity growth;
* The beginning of expanded operations to the Caribbean and Latin America
from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, including four new
destinations in the region added to the US Airways network;
* The redefinition of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, with new
nonstop service to primary business destinations, complemented by the
replacement of many turboprop flights with RJ service; and
* Increased productivity of aircraft and other assets closer to low-cost
carrier (LCC) standards, brought about by better balancing the hub-and-
spoke and point-to-point business models.
US Airways’ hub in Philadelphia will continue to serve as a primary
connecting point in the Northeast and as a gateway to Europe, the Caribbean,
and Latin America. Total departures from Philadelphia will increase to 495
each business day, or seven percent more than the November 2004 schedule, and
32 percent more than February 2004. Connecting arrival and departure banks
also will be replaced by a steady flow of flights throughout the day. This is
expected to relieve airfield delays and increase operational efficiency.
Further, two new destinations will be added to the schedule, with 50-seat RJ
flights to and from Wilmington, N.C., and Washington Dulles International
Airport, operated by Mesa Airlines and PSA Airlines, respectively.
US Airways’ largest hub will grow to 564 daily weekday departures (from
the current 495) and by two departure and arrival banks, an increase of 100
daily flights as compared to the February 2004 schedule. Charlotte will
continue as a modified hub-and-spoke system to maximize revenue and
profitability. The current schedule includes eight flight-connecting banks.
Charlotte will continue to be US Airways’ largest gateway to the Caribbean
and Latin America, and transatlantic service to Frankfurt and London (Gatwick
Airport) will continue as well. Service from Charlotte to Sarasota will be
seasonally upgraded to Boeing 737 jets, replacing 50-and 70-seat RJs.
Ronald Reagan Washington National
New nonstop service will be added to six key business destinations,
including Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago (O’Hare) with four daily
nonstop roundtrip flights each, as well as Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston
(George Bush Intercontinental), with three daily nonstop roundtrip flights
each. The new markets will feature the 72-seat Embraer 170 Regional Jet on
most flights. Mainline jets will replace 50-seat RJ and 37-seat turboprop
service on selected flights from Washington to Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and
Syracuse, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Manchester,
N.H.; and Raleigh, N.C., versus the February 2004 schedule. Departure levels
will be unchanged in Washington versus February 2004, with seat capacity
increasing by 40 percent to reflect the use of larger RJs and mainline
“US Airways is already the leading airline at Reagan National, and with
the new business markets and larger aircraft in our February schedule, we
significantly increase our scope of service,” said Baldanza. “The use of
larger aircraft is consistent with the stimulated demand environment created
by the launch of GoFares in the Washington market.”
With the change, US Airways will provide nonstop service in 15 of
Washington’s 20 largest markets.
As previously announced, US Airways will expand service in Fort
Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fla., on Feb. 13, 2005. Daily departures will increase
from 27 this fall to 54, with the introduction of daily nonstop service to
nine destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as six new
nonstop destinations in the U.S. In February, US Airways will initiate
service to Guatemala City, Guatemala; Panama City, Panama; Kingston, Jamaica;
and San Salvador, El Salvador, all subject to foreign government approval. US
Airways will also introduce nonstop daily flights to Key West, Fla., operated
by PSA Airlines. Connections will be created in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood for
passengers traveling from the Northeast to points in Latin America and the
Keys. US Airways’ new low GoFares are available on all nonstop flights to and
from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
Pittsburgh continues to be an important part of the US Airways network.
US Airways expects to operate approximately 229 daily departures to 67
destinations with the February schedule, including 28 of the top 30 markets
for local travelers. As previously announced, a redesigned Pittsburgh
schedule will take effect on Nov. 7, 2004. Currently, minimal changes are
planned to the Pittsburgh schedule between November 2004 and February 2005.
Depending on final network and schedule decisions made by non-owned affiliate
carrier providers, the total departure count could vary slightly.
Boston and New York LaGuardia
Capacity from Boston and New York will increase by 36 and 12 percent,
respectively. Capacity growth occurs as larger RJs and mainline equipment
replace smaller, less efficient aircraft.
US Airways Shuttle
Shuttle flights currently operate hourly between New York LaGuardia,
Boston Logan and Washington Reagan National. Beginning on Feb. 6, 2005,
Shuttle flights between Washington and Boston will depart 45 minutes after the
hour, rather than on the hour or half-hour. Shuttle service between New York
and both Boston and Washington will continue to operate hourly on the hour.
The new service pattern is another part of US Airways’ overall plan to ensure
increased efficiency through better aircraft utilization and airport staffing.
US Airways will continue to offer nonstop service to its existing 11
destinations in Europe from its international gateways in Philadelphia and
Charlotte. Overall Atlantic capacity is expected to remain unchanged in 2005.
The revised flight schedule will reduce aircraft turn times by 15 percent,
in turn allowing mainline aircraft utilization to increase by ten percent and
US Airways Express utilization to increase by five percent, versus February
2004. Mainline capacity for US Airways will increase by seven percent in
February 2005 as compared to February 2004.
“Adoption of the Transformation Plan represents a turning point in the
history of US Airways,” Baldanza said. “By changing our core business model,
US Airways will be better positioned to successfully compete in an aggressive
competitive environment where declines in yields, growth of other low cost
carriers, and record high fuel prices are expected.”