U.S Airways Flies into the History Books

 

Bryan Pilcher
Last Operating US Airways Flight 1939

US Airways traces its roots back to 1939 when it was known as All American Aviation, an Air Mail Carrier founded by the DuPont family. The airline was headquartered in Pittsburgh & mostly served areas in the Ohio River Valley. As it made the transition to passenger service in the early 1950’s, the airline was officially renamed Allegheny Air in 1953. The original fleet of DC-3’s was modernized in 1966 with the upgrade to the DC-9 Jet Aircraft. Allegheny changed its name to USAir in 1979 following the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act the previous year, which enabled the airline to expand its route network into the southeastern United States. Finally, in 1997, the airline changed its name to US Airways and introduced a new corporate identity. A stylized version of the Flag of the United States was adopted as a new logo.

US Airways was one of the major airlines in the United States owned by the US Airways Group and headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. It flew to 198 domestic and international destinations throughout the Middle East, Europe, South America, and North America. The company maintained a predominantly Airbus fleet, with some Boeing jets and small fleet of Embraer jets. The post-merger continues to operate the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.

In February 2013, American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge, creating the largest airline in the world. The holding companies of American and US Airways merged effective December 9, 2013. The combined airline will carry the American Airlines name and branding and will maintain the existing US Airways hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix for a period of at least five years. The company’s management team runs the combined airline from the American headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. On April 8, 2015, the FAA officially granted a single operating certificate for both carriers, marking the end of US Airways as an independent carrier. The brand would continue to exist until October 2015.

On July 13, 2015, American announced that it planned to discontinue the US Airways brand name on October 17, 2015. On that date, the company made their final flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia with stops at Phoenix and Charlotte, operating as Flight 1939. However, repainting of planes into the American Airlines scheme is expected to take until “late 2016,” and new flight attendant uniforms should be introduced next year, at which point the brand will no longer be displayed on any of its former planes, employees or assets.

*Statistical data courtesy of Reuters & Air Transport World