Christina Cassotis doesn’t see Pittsburgh International Airport becoming a hub again, but she does think there are opportunities to add more flights.
Ms. Cassotis, 50, most recently managing officer of the air services practice for ICF SH&E, a Boston-based aviation consultant, was introduced today as the new chief executive officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
In her new job, she will be overseeing operations at Pittsburgh International in Findlay and the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.
But her main focus will be to bring more nonstop flights to Pittsburgh, a city that lost hundreds of flights and dozens of destinations when US Airways dropped its airport hub in 2004.
English: US Airways Airbus A330-323X (N278AY), on final approach to London Heathrow Airport, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
PHILADELPHIA As the plane plummeted, Mark Pensiero said he felt his seat drop and his body press up against the seat belt. Gravity seemed to lose its grasp on the 58-year-old Burlington County man. The Orlando-bound Airbus rocked violently from side to side.
“For a couple seconds there, nobody was controlling that airplane,” he said. “It was doing what it wanted to do.”
The turbulence lasted five seconds, maybe 10, Sunday night. But six people – four passengers and two flight attendants – reported injuries, leading the captain to turn the plane back to Philadelphia, U.S. Airways said. Five people were taken to hospitals. The airline said the extent of their injuries was unknown, but appeared not to be life-threatening.
Pensiero said he saw one person taken away in a stretcher and another person, a flight attendant, wearing a neck brace.
JetBlue, Boston’s largest airline with 125 daily flights, has succeeded where three other carriers did not: making a profit and winning over travelers with cheaper fares and in-flight amenities on a 300-mile trip on which US Airways long had a lock.
US Airways, with a hub in Philadelphia, has 19 nonstop flights on peak weekdays from Philadelphia to Boston.
JetBlue’s arrival in May with five daily Boston nonstops immediately lowered airfares, once as high as $800 round-trip on US Airways, to $55 to $154 one-way on Jet Blue, depending on the day and time of travel.
Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Built less than six years ago, a state-of-the-art flight operations control center in Moon will be closing and the work transferred to Texas, a casualty in the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
American Airlines announced Friday that it intends to consolidate flight operations in Dallas-Fort Worth over the next 18 months, costing the region a facility built specifically for the needs of US Airways and the 600 jobs that go with it.
“It’s pretty sad for the people that have been here for a long time,” said Danny Persuit, president of Transport Workers Union Local 545, which represents 164 employees at the center.
In a separate action, American also plans to transfer 53 mechanics out of Pittsburgh in what it said was an annual maintenance “rebalancing” unrelated to the merger.
An American Airlines Boeing 757-223 landing at Vancouver International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Finally, it’s a done deal.
American Airlines AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Monday officially announced the completion of their merger to form American Airlines Group Inc., the world’s largest airline.
At 7:40 a.m., the secretary of state in Delaware, Jeffrey Bullock, filed a certificate of merger. The new company is incorporated in Delaware.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker, who will lead the new American, will ring the opening bell on the Nasdaq stock market at 9:30 a.m. eastern time, signifying the the opening of trading of the new American’s shares on Nasdaq. Ticker: AAL.
A study examining the feasibility of providing commercial air service between Pittsburgh International Airport and 13 intrastate regional airports is halfway complete, said Jeffrey Hartz, a senior consultant at Mead & Hunt, the group hired to complete the report.
Funded in part by the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the study is designed to develop business plans – including possible costs and flight schedules – and market analyses for airport boards to present to interested airlines.
The study will assess the demand for adding connecting flights on a market-by-market basis and provide information, including how full an aircraft must be on a daily basis in order for an airline to profit.
For the corporate takeover business, the last half-decade was a fallow period. Wall Street deal makers and chief executives, brought low by the global financial crisis, lacked the confidence to strike the audacious multibillion-dollar acquisitions that had defined previous market booms.
Cycles, however, turn, and in the opening weeks of 2013, merger activity has suddenly roared back to life. On Thursday, Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, said it had teamed up with Brazilian investors to buy the ketchup maker H. J. Heinz for about $23 billion. And American Airlines and US Airways agreed to merge in a deal valued at $11 billion.
Those transactions come a week after a planned $24 billion buyout of the computer company Dell by its founder, Michael S. Dell, and private equity backers. And Liberty Global, the company controlled by the billionaire media magnate John C. Malone, struck a $16 billion deal to buy the British cable business Virgin Media.
The airline industry took a decisive step toward greater concentration on Thursday with the announcement that American Airlines and US Airways had agreed to merge, forming the nation’s biggest airline. The merged airline, to be called American, leaves just three major carriers — Delta Air Lines and United Airlines too — able to offer extensive domestic and international service, a sharp contraction over the last decade.
But while airline executives argue that mergers are good for passengers because they bring more service to more destinations, some economists and consumer advocates warn that all this consolidation comes at a price for travelers.
With fewer carriers, passengers have fewer options; fares and fees are now more likely to go up, particularly for flights between midsize cities. And more cities, especially smaller ones, can expect to see further reductions in service.
“It’s much easier to have tacit collusion with just three airlines,” said George Hoffer, a transportation economist at the University of Richmond. “It’s not illegal. But it’s like having a few big people in a small boat. Anyone’s decisions tie you all together.”
Visitors to Pittsburgh International Airport can be forgiven for thinking, at certain times, that they wandered into an aviation ghost town. Where once US Airways alone operated more than 500 daily flights into Pittsburgh, the airport is now left with an average of 139 non-stops a day for all airlines.
There’s no question the airport needs more flights and the people who take them — and that makes the news that PeoplExpress is reviving an old brand and is eying a presence in Pittsburgh especially encouraging.
But now Delta is trying something never tried: operating hubs at two New York airports, LaGuardia and Kennedy, a dozen miles apart. The carrier said Friday that by summer, it will build its LaGuardia operations into a hub providing 264 daily departures to more than 60 cities. They include competitors’ hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, and Miami; key destinations in upstate New York; and small cities such as Wilmington, N.C.
The move represents Delta’s effort to use 132 LaGuardia slots, just acquired in a trade with US Airways(LCC) , to establish itself as the primary airline in the world’s biggest travel market. The slots will enable it to add 100 flights and 26 destinations.
Today, a nonrefundable round-trip ticket will set you back $118.00 before taxes. After Southwest ends their nonstop service, the same ticket, for the same flight, will cost you $698.00 on US Airways.
Taking a flight with one connecting stop makes flying almost equivalent to driving across the state. Amtrak and Megabus are also not options for business travelers who need to make same-day round-trips.
A plan to expand Philly International (PHL) is being met with mixed reactions from airlines and local residents.
Passenger traffic is expected to grown from 15 million passengers in 2009 to 27.8 million passengers by 2025. To meet this demand, the airport is adding a 5th runway, expanding two current runways, adding a new commuter terminal and relocating the UPS facility to another part of the airport complex. 72 homes and 12 businesses will be demolished to relocate UPS.
18,800 employees work at the airport. Another 1700 – 2000 Delaware County residents work for UPS. The airport contributes $14 billion dollars to the regional economy and supports 141,000 jobs.
US Airways and Southwest Airlines had mixed reactions because of their increased costs. Tinicum Township residents feel this expansion will further infringe on their community.
Click on the link below to read the entire article which includes a map showing the proposed changes to be made at the airport.