US Airways says it won''t move headquarters to Pa.

a320av8r

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Aug 20, 2002
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US Airways says it won''t move headquarters to Pa.

Gov. Rendell wants the carrier to relocate from Virginia, but that''s not on the table, the new chairman said.

By Marcia Gelbart
Inquirer Staff Writer

US Airways Group Inc. won''t be calling Pennsylvania home anytime soon, the airline''s new board chairman said yesterday.

With US Airways seeking $390 million in public funding to improve its Pittsburgh and Philadelphia operations, Gov. Rendell said last week that he would ask the airline to move its headquarters to the state from Arlington, Va.

Everybody has visions, said David Bronner, who was elected board chairman April 4. He is chief executive officer of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which holds a majority of US Airways'' board seats.

I''ve already agreed with management to allow it to stay where it''s at, so that''s not on the table, Bronner said in an interview.

The Alabama pension fund has given the airline, which emerged from bankruptcy protection two weeks ago, $240 million in exchange for a 37 percent ownership stake.

Previously, when the fund loaned millions to a small newspaper owner from Lexington, Ky., Bronner said part of the investment deal was that the newspaper company move its headquarters to Birmingham.

But concerning US Airways, which is managed from a high-rise building across the Potomac River from the nation''s capital, Bronner said: Washington is very important to us... . Plus, because the management team is so new, you don''t want to disrupt them from focusing on surviving [financially].

US Airways, which has nearly half of its workforce based in Pennsylvania, wants $235 million in government aid to cover rent costs, as well as facilities and runway improvements at Philadelphia International airport.

It also wants $155 million in cost savings from Pittsburgh''s airport, where the airline wants to base its new regional jet carrier, Mid-Atlantic Airways.

It''s not clear where any of that money would come from.

A Rendell spokeswoman offered little comment yesterday on Bronner''s ruling out the airline''s relocation. The spokeswoman, Kate Philips, also wouldn''t say whether the governor would pursue the effort in a meeting he was planning to hold with US Airways officials later this month.

In a related matter, the number of international travelers flying through Philadelphia''s airport has dipped for the first time in at least six months. According to the airport, 7.8 percent fewer passengers boarded aircraft this February than in the same month last year.

The drop comes as city airport officials are preparing for the May 2 opening of the new US Airways international terminal.

Last year, in spite of a nationwide decline in overseas travel, a record 3.2 million passengers used Philadelphia''s airport.
 

ClueByFour

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Aug 20, 2002
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The proper response to this would be to offer the very first LCC who wants to move in at PIT about $100 million in improvements, nix any support for another runway at PHL, and give the Dave(s) the finger.
 

gilbertguy

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Aug 29, 2002
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On 4/15/2003 9:41:16 AM ClueByFour wrote:

The proper response to this would be to offer the very first LCC who wants to move in at PIT about $100 million in improvements, nix any support for another runway at PHL, and give the Dave(s) the finger.



The way this company is being run, why not re-locate CCY in Dave'' garage or the local Pizza Hut......
 

N628AU

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Aug 22, 2002
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On 4/15/2003 9:41:16 AM ClueByFour wrote:

The proper response to this would be to offer the very first LCC who wants to move in at PIT about $100 million in improvements, nix any support for another runway at PHL, and give the Dave(s) the finger.



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The problem with this response is two-fold. First, no LCC can really make a go of it in PIT. There is simply insufficient O & D traffic in this city for anyone to make a signifcant profit off of it, except a handful of flights to other airline''s hubs and maybe to some major cities. That is already happening.

Second, the International Gateway in PHL is too important to the state to "give the Dave(s) the finger". This is a huge economic engine for both the city and the state. This is high stakes business poker. The only problem here is that PIT charges way too much in fees, three times higher than CLT. The company is not receiving three times the value in return. I ask you this, what can PIT bring this company that another hub such as CLT cannot?
 

RowUnderDCA

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Oct 6, 2002
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On 4/15/2003 9:41:16 AM ClueByFour wrote:

The proper response to this would be to offer the very first LCC who wants to move in at PIT about $100 million in improvements, nix any support for another runway at PHL, and give the Dave(s) the finger.

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The problem with this response is more than two-fold. The very reasons cited why the "International Gateway" and the second runway are clearly important to PHL, PA and US. AND have already been vetted and fast-tracked, make this kind of quid pro quo regarding extracting a HQ move and continued air service to PIT close to violating Federal law, it seems to me. A state cannot regulate the airline industry in the wake of Federal airline deregulation.

A state cannot compel air service by force of law. BUT, I know of instances where the extreme, or unreasonable, exercise of proprietary powers to effect air service has been used by the Feds to dissuade entities from taking action.

Yes, I know, the Feds can''t yet compel runway construction, but the runway at PHL is fast-tracked, supported by the City and State. For it to be de-railed for this kind of thing..... I just don''t know. hmmmm?

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DLFlyer31

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Aug 20, 2002
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You didn''t really think Bronner would let U move its corporate HQ north of the Mason-Dixon Line. All those Alabamian''s don''t want their pension money invested in a Yankee company.
 

CLTBWIDAYSYR

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Aug 20, 2002
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On 4/15/2003 1:37:39 PM DLFlyer31 wrote:


You didn''t really think Bronner would let U move its corporate HQ north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  All those Alabamian''s don''t want their pension money invested in a Yankee company. 

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Once again, just so everyone here understands....Bronner is NOT a Southerner. He was born, raised and educated in the Land of 10,000 lakes...Minnesota. Last time I listened, accents in Minnesota and Alabama sounded NOTHING alike. Oh sure you betcha...care for a lemon bar?
 
Aug 23, 2002
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Heard a report on tv that the government officials are in talks with Southwest Airlines to move into Pittsburgh Airport, since Usairways is under-utilizing the airport....Cutting flights in the evenings on some days...How are folks supposed to fly from the West Coast and connect on flights out of Pittsburgh without evening flights?...Take only red eye flights and get to Pittsburgh at 630am?
 

usfliboi

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Aug 20, 2002
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Did any one really believe we would move HQ to PA? Im amazed the topic was even brought up!
 

Cosmo

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Aug 20, 2002
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Another fact to keep in mind is that US just renegotiated the CCY lease during its bankruptcy proceedings, and the revised lease now runs through 2008. And I would guess that the lease rate is quite favorable to US since the office market in northern Virginia is a bit soft at the moment. So even if PA can get past these hurdles and convince US to move its HQ to PA (which is not very likely IMHO), it would also be necessary for the state to pick up the CCY lease expense for the next five years -- on top of everything else US is asking for.

The good news is that the offices have wonderful views of DCA, the Potomac River, the Capitol, and downtown DC.