Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to the Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of US Airway and American Airlines calling on them to protect jobs and routes in Western Pennsylvania after the Department of Justice announced it would not block the merger. As the planned merger moves forward, Senator Casey is urging the new airline to keep both the operations control center and maintenance facility fully functional. US Airways employs approximately 1700 people in the region, the majority of whom work at the maintenance hangar and the operations center. Also, it’s still unclear whether the region will be able to still rely on a full complement of routes. Maintaining a wide variety of routes is critical to the region’s long-term economic competiveness.
“US Airways is fortunate to have 1700 hardworking and highly skilled residents working in the Pittsburgh region. Maintaining these jobs would strengthen Western Pennsylvania’s economy and be good for any newly merged airline, Senator Casey said. “Having access to a diverse set of routes is what allows the Pittsburgh region to attract businesses and highly skilled workers while remaining a travel destination for people around the world. I’m strongly encouraging both airlines to protect our routes and consider new ones.”
The full text of Casey’s letter is below:
Mr. W. Douglas Parker Mr. Thomas W. Horton
President & Chief Executive Officer President & Chief Executive Officer
US Airways American Airlines
4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd. P.O Box 619616
Phoenix, AZ 85034 DFW Airport, TX 75261
Dear Mr. Parker and Mr. Horton:
As you work to merge US Airways and American Airlines into a combined carrier, I encourage you to maintain all routes and sustain employment throughout Pennsylvania.
Over the course of the past year, we have had several discussions about the importance of maintaining the workforce in western Pennsylvania. As you know, US Airways employs approximately 1,700 people in the Pittsburgh region, the bulk of whom work at the aircraft maintenance facility and operations control center. As you determine how to combine airline functions over the next several months, I urge you to consider keeping both the maintenance hangar and the operations center fully functional and in western Pennsylvania.
It is my understanding that there are very few overlapping routes between US Airways and American Airlines. As you move forward, I ask that you preserve routes that originate and end in cities throughout the Commonwealth and explore expanding service both domestically and internationally. Pennsylvania’s unique economy that centers upon manufacturing, life sciences and higher education presents substantial opportunities for business travel. Moreover, the natural gas industry is adding significant demand for increased air travel to several destinations throughout the state.
I welcome continued dialogue about the importance that Pennsylvania plays in the combined airline and offer my assistance to preserve jobs and routes that will help contribute to the success of your new company. Thank you for your consideration of my views.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator