Tag Archives: US Airways

Airline merger leaves travelers wondering how they will be affected


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of  US Airways

American Airlines and US Airways agreed on a merger last week that will create the world’s biggest airline and bring the number of major U.S. carriers down to four.

The new airline will still be called American Airlines but will be run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker. On the new airline’s website promoting “the new American is arriving,” the companies ensure their customers will enjoy all the connections they have come to depend on – plus many more as the two entities come together.

According to the website, the larger new American Airlines will have more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 locations in 56 countries worldwide. Also, the airline hopes to “offer flights to more destinations, improved schedule options and worldwide connectivity through the oneworld Alliance.”

The new American Airlines will have the greatest service in the central regions and across the East Coast of the United States, with an extended presence and solid network in the west.

With news of the merger, frequent flyers are left wondering how their future travels will be affected and how their frequent flyer miles and points will translate over.

“Some of the frequent flyers have voiced some dismay over some of the routes that will be changed and now can’t fly their usual routes or from their usual airport,” said Dave Ma, 22, student from Flushing who was recently part of a flyer talk forum.

Although some flyers are worried prices will soar due to less competition, others are confident this merger will bring the new airline’s rates down.

“This union will allow the larger airline to take all the routes and it’s probably better for the customers since there will be less competition. They can charge less than other airlines and I think in the end it will affect other airlines, not flyers of American Airlines or US Airways,” said Diana Beck, 21.

Both airlines acknowledged the full merger will take at least 18 months.

 

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Queens’ Morning


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 43. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the West in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 37. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Much Ado About Nothing

On opening night of Much Ado About Nothing at The Secret Theatre in LIC, patrons receive chocolates, a rose and two glasses of pink bubbly in a two-for-$30 deal. Show runs from February 14 to March 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Bloomberg to propose more electric  car parking, Styrofoam ban

On the eve of his State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a new ban in store, as well as a parking proposal that might drive some New Yorkers crazy. Read more: CBS New York

NYS audit finds MTA is sitting on $90M

A New York State audit finds that the MTA overlooked over $90 million sitting in various bank accounts. Read more: Fox New York

Queens officials request meeting with FAA to discuss noise created by new flight patterns

Queens elected officials are urging the FAA to redesign flight patterns to curb aircraft noise around its two airports. Read more: New York Daily News

Rebuilt Rockaway beaches need more than a big dose of sand, locals say

There’s a whole lot of sand coming to storm-ravaged Rockaway Beach this year, but locals are worried it’s not enough to stave off another attack from Mother Nature. Read more: New York Daily News

DOE to allow students to transfer out of public schools getting phased out

Department Of Education officials announced Wednesday that they will allow families to transfer their children out of 61 public schools deemed by city officials to be failing. Read more: NY1

American Airlines, US Airways announce $11 billion merger

American Airlines and US Airways say they’re merging in a deal they value at $11 billion, creating the world’s biggest airline. Read more: ABC New York

 

NYC area prepares for major snow storm


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the first time this winter, the city is getting ready for a potentially powerful snow storm.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the flakes should start falling early Friday morning and the bad weather will continue through Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the NWS  issued a winter storm watch for all of New York City and other parts of the tri-state area, but by the afternoon had changed it to a blizzard warning with 10 to 14 inches of snow expected.

In addition to snow, the storm will bring powerful winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, and a mixture of rain and sleet, particularly on Friday, making for slippery conditions and possible power outages.

There is also a coastal flooding watch for western Long Island Sound and the Twin Forks of Long Island, said the NWS.

At a briefing on the city’s storm preparations this morning Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the forecasts may be exaggerating the amount of snow, but you never know.

Bracing for the worst case scenario, the city is ready with more than 250,000 tons of salt, 350 salt spreaders and plows for 1,800 sanitation trucks, said the mayor.

City residents can track the progress of the Department of Sanitation‘s clearing operations for their specific street online.

Con Ed also said it is preparing for the storm and any outages it may cause.

To report any outages and downed power lines, or to check service restoration status, customers can visit  www.coned.com/ReportOutage or call -800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

 

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Significant winter storm heading to Northeast


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of NWS

A storm system that already brought snow, tornadoes and other severe weather to the central and southern U.S. will hit the Northeast today and tomorrow, further disrupting holiday travel.

Though, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), the snow is expected in the upper Ohio Valley and the interior Northeast, locally it will mainly bring rainy and windy conditions.

In New York City, a wintry mix of rain, snow, and sleet will start this afternoon, but is expected to turn to just rain after about 4 p.m., and could be heavy at times.

The NWS has also issued a high wind warning for the area, from 4 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Thursday, with 25 to 40 mph winds with gusts up to 60 mph. There is also a coastal flood warning from 8 p.m. Wednesday until midnight

The storm’s timing could also impact holiday travelers throughout the U.S.

As of this morning, the storm has already caused the cancellation of over 325 flights around the U.S., reported CBS New York, but at least one airline, US Airways, is waiving cancelation fess for travelers that need to change their flights because of the weather.

American continues to fly, despite Chapter 11


| mchan@queenscourier.com


American Airlines — and its parent company AMR Corporation — have filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the company said it is still operating normal flight schedules, as well as honoring tickets and refunds.

“This was a difficult decision, but it is the necessary and right path for us to take – and take now – to become a more efficient, financially stronger and competitive airline,” said AMR President Thomas Horton, who is also the company’s newly-appointed chairperson and CEO. “We have met our challenges head on, taking all possible action to secure our long-term position.”

AMR filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 29.

The Chapter 11 process enables the company to continue conducting normal business operations while they restructure their debt, costs and other obligations. According to the U.S. Courts, Chapter 11 debtors usually seek debt relief by proposing a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.

According to a statement released by the company, AMR has $4.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments to ensure uninterrupted supply of goods and services during the proceedings. The money allotted will go toward fully maintaining AAdvantage frequent flyer and other customer service programs, ensuring all AAdvantage miles and elites status earned by members remain secure and intact, providing employee wages, healthcare coverage, vacation and other benefits without interruption and paying suppliers for goods and services received during the reorganization process.

AMR will be filing monthly operating reports with the Bankruptcy Court and also plans to post monthly operating reports on the Investor Relations section of their website, AA.com.

“Our very substantial cost disadvantage compared to our larger competitors, all of which restructured their costs and debt through Chapter 11, has become increasingly untenable given the accelerating impact of global economic uncertainty and resulting revenue instability, volatile and rising fuel prices and intensifying competitive challenges,” Horton said.

Competitors Delta, United, Continental and US Airways have all previously filed for Chapter 11 reorganizations.

“But as we have made clear with increasing urgency in recent weeks, we must address our cost structure, including labor costs, to enable us to capitalize on [our] foundational strengths and secure our future,” said Horton.

For more information, visit AA.com/restructuring.

Delta Air Lines to expand presence at LaGuardia Airport


| ecamhi@queenscourier.com


Delta Air Lines will be expanding its presence at LaGuardia Airport as a result of a deal with US Airways. The deal will also beget a $117 million renovation project at LaGuardia, which Delta says will greatly expand and enhance service for travelers while creating new jobs for Queens and New York area residents.

Under the agreement, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) approved last month, Delta will give up 42 of its slot pairs in Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport to US Airways and will pick up 132 of the other carrier’s slot pairs at LaGuardia (a slot pair is defined as one takeoff and one landing).

Delta says the deal will increase passenger capacity at LaGuardia by about four million seats annually and help solidify a hub operation for Delta at LaGuardia.

It will also reduce congestion by replacing turboprop aircraft currently operated by US Airways with larger Delta jets that can hold more passengers.

“We want to thank the DOT and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for their final approval of the slot transaction, which will enhance competition, create new jobs, reduce air space congestion in New York City and greatly increase travel choices for our customers in New York,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our expanded presence at LaGuardia will double our available destinations, offering customers more frequent and convenient service at New York’s preferred airport for business travel.”

Anderson continued, “We also look forward to bringing substantial new construction and service jobs to New York as facilities are expanded and modernized to create a Delta hub operation.”

The $117 million construction project, commencing later this year, should take about two years to complete. Delta will take over and renovate the current US Airways Terminal, and bridge it with Delta’s existing terminal. A new 600-foot connector will be built to join them. Delta’s hourly Shuttle from the Marine Air Terminal won’t be affected by the project.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley, who has led efforts in support of this deal since 2009, said it “will bring many benefits to Queens and New York, including the creation of thousands of new jobs, increased economic activity in and around LaGuardia, improved air service and reduced noise pollution.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia, has expressed its support as well. According to Executive Director Christopher O. Ward, “this change could help to reduce the chronic delay and congestion problems that plague New York’s airspace.”

Additional stipulations of the deal include the DOT-imposed provision that both airlines divest 24 slot pairs in total to smaller airlines to enable fair competition. Delta will also pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash.

Delta’s expanded LaGuardia schedule is set to roll out next year.