Aug. 6, 2012
Caption royalblue:(Photo courtesy of usairways.com)
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell met last week with US Airways officials, who agreed that Phoenix will remain a primary western hub for the airline even after a possible merger with American Airlines.
US Airways chairman and CEO Doug Parker indicated that a merger would make the Phoenix hub stronger because the American aircraft fleet and route network would provide greater access from Phoenix to destinations nationally and worldwide, and as a result, the majority of existing local employment would remain in Arizona.
Company officials also indicated they are open to discussing with Phoenix and Tempe the opportunity for the region to be the location for new jobs that may be created, should the merger occur. The airline also agreed to continue its corporate giving program within Arizona.
“US Airways isn’t just a name in Phoenix; it is part of our city through jobs, our economy and our everyday travel,” Stanton said. “Phoenix and Tempe are currently home to US Airways, and we were glad to be reassured that US Airways remains committed to the Phoenix metro area.”
Mitchell said the 265 flights per day that US Airways flies from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport provide critical connections to the world for business travelers and offer leisure travelers the opportunity to travel to Phoenix and support tourism, the second largest sector of the Arizona economy. Additionally, the nearly 2,000 jobs US Airways provides in Tempe and the roughly 9,000 people it employs overall in metropolitan Phoenix are critical to the regional economy.
“It is vitally important that we retain our hub status and as many of the jobs we have as possible,” Mitchell said. “We also must position the region as the preferred location for future growth opportunities. Those are the primary responsibilities we have in participating in discussions like the one last week.”