Tag Archives: USAirways

United-USAirways Deal Nears

flight attendantJust weeks after Northwest Airways and Delta Airlines announced their merger plans, it appears that United Airlines and USAirways will soon make their own announcement. If pulled off, a United-USAirways merger would create the world’s second largest airline just behind the newly-merged Northwest-Delta entity which will be called Delta Airlines.

Flying as United Airlines, the newly-merged airline is expected to keep its headquarters in Chicago, but be controlled by USAirways management. USAirways was bought out by America West in 2005, but the airline kept the better known USAirways name.

We’ve Been Down This Road Before

If the United-USAirways deals sounds familiar, the Chicago Tribune

recently reminded its readers that these airlines had announced a deal in 2000, that collapsed 14 months later. Opposition from regulatory and union officials ditched those plans and a slowing economy was also being blamed for the earlier collapse.

Gates To Open Up

Certain east coast US gates controlled by USAirways and United could suddenly be freed up if the merger goes through. Likely, regulators would force the newly-merged entity to cede gates at important airports, including Reagan National in Washington, DC, allowing JetBlue, Virgin America, and Air Tran to bid on available gates.

Other Industry News

Most of the merger talk these days has come about as airlines face record jet fuel prices. A rash of smaller airlines have already declared bankruptcy with several closing their doors permanently. However, a few airlines are hoping to make it through the current crisis including:

  • Silverjet, which is the last of three air carriers flying business class only passengers between New York and London (after MAXjet and EOS’ demise) has been in talks with Lufthansa and other interested parties to purchase the airline. However, Silverjet CEO Lawrence Hunt is reluctant to sell citing market conditions as the chief reasons to keep Silverjet off the market.

Oil Dips Slightly

One glimmer of light for the airlines is the price of oil which actually dropped slightly

by 56 cents to $125.40 for June crude delivery. Not that bright of a light, that is for certain, but one the airlines can use if only for the moment.

Airline Consolidation Likely In 2008

A Rocky Start For 2008

Prospective flight attendants should know that employment opportunities at some air carriers are likely to change rapidly this year. Due to sustained (and high) fuel prices, some airlines are finding the going very difficult and are looking at new partnerships to help them weather the crisis. The impact on new flight attendants could be strong as newly merged entities lay off excess crew and seek to streamline their operations.

Who Is At Risk?

Anyone looking for work at a legacy air carrier — American, United, USAirways, Delta, Continental, and Northwest — probably is familiar with the difficulties each airline has been experiencing over the past seven or eight years. While American and Continental have staved off bankruptcy, the others have not.

USAirways was bought out by America West who promptly jettisoned their own name in favor of the much more established and universally known USAirways.

United, Northwest, and Delta have gone through historic losses, losing tens of billions of dollars between them and reducing staff. Out of the three, United is the strongest with Northwest and Delta considering a partnership or outright merger.

Thus, working for an established air carrier (if they are hiring) offers a great risk especially if fuel costs remain high or spike upward.

Should I Go Regional?

Besides the recommended airlines listed on the sidebar of this page, who else might the prospective flight attendant consider? Regional operators continue to hire but their pay ranges from $12-17K annually, low enough to allow workers to qualify for food stamps.

JetBlue has a newer fleet, but along with Frontier and SkyWest, this air carrier reported

some of the largest drops in their respective stock prices this week.

Wait It Out Or Jump In

For the person who absolutely wants to fly, there is no time like the present for seeking work. Quite frankly, airlines are always

hiring. Just be prepared for what some are considering the inevitable, that your airline may be merged, go out of business, or lay off crew. If you’re eager to start flying, then join up, but if you’re looking for job security, the airlines cannot give that to you.

Out of all the carriers flying in North America, Southwest Airlines is probably the strongest. Although they say that they are hiring flight attendants, Southwest is not accepting new applications.

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