Casey, Specter Urge US Airways to Keep Focus on PA Flights and Jobs During Merger Talks with United Airlines
After seeing numerous press reports indicating that US Airways is in "advanced" talks with United about a possible merger, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) today wrote to Douglas Parker, CEO of US Airways, urging him to keep Pennsylvania's interests and workers of both airlines in mind.
"We write today to request that any merged entity maintain all pre-existing commitments to Pennsylvania and to the workers of both airlines," the Members wrote.
Full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. Parker:
Recent press reports have indicated that US Airways is in "advanced merger talks" with United Airlines. We write today to request that any merged entity maintain all pre-existing commitments to Pennsylvania and to the workers of both airlines.
As Chairman and CEO of US Airways, you will presumably play a central role in any discussions about the company's future. Because of the importance of affordable air travel to economic growth in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions, we urge you to ensure that any merged airline preserve, and if conditions permit, expand service at both Philadelphia International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.
Any merged airline should maintain Philadelphia's role as a key East Coast domestic and international hub. Similarly, current service in Pittsburgh should not be significantly altered in the event of a merger. While we remain concerned about US Airways' recent reduction of daily flights out of Pittsburgh, we are encouraged by a recent statement by company President Scott Kirby in which he indicates that "[w]e have no plans to make further cuts in Pittsburgh." Should US Airways decide to merge with any other airline, we expect that any merged entity will honor this commitment. Finally, any merged airline should uphold its obligations to smaller airports across the Commonwealth serviced by various regional carriers through contractual arrangements with your company.
In previous correspondence, we have respectfully requested that you provide your employees with all information relevant to their futures, and we expect that this time you will make every effort to provide your employees with all appropriate information about the merger talks. Discussions regarding mergers understandably have the potential to cause significant stress for your employees, and we believe that your company should provide as many details as practicable about the airline's future. And finally, as we have in the past, we also strongly encourage you to keep Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation informed of any developments that will affect air travel in Pennsylvania.
While we understand the economic pressures facing the airline industry, maintaining air service in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and smaller regional airports is essential to Pennsylvania's economy and is in the best long-term economic interests of the airline industry. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our views.
Bob Casey, U.S. Senator and Arlen Specter, U.S. Senator
cc: Mr. Glenn F. Tilton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines