Last Flight for US Airways Made Official
It’s bon voyage to US Airways on the morning of Oct. 17, when its last flight lands in Philadelphia. That’s right, according to the Associated Press, the carrier’s last flight has been made official, announced by American Airlines Group Inc. on Friday.
Flight 434 is a red-eye slated to depart San Francisco around 10 p.m. Oct. 16 and land in the City of Brotherly Love at 6 a.m. the next day.
Once the jet is on the ground, the US Airways website will be shuttered, and all kiosks and signage will change to American Airlines.
After the Dec. 2013 merger of the two airlines, it was decided to keep the better-known American Airlines moniker. But the AP revealed that evidence of the defunct carrier is destined to persist a little longer, as some planes will not have their US Airways livery immediately repainted.
According to the AP, in the last 10 years, mergers have erased Northwest, Continental and AirTran from existence. Before that, Pan Am, TWA and numerous smaller carriers vanished.
The AP said the biggest challenge American Airlines Group Inc. may be facing is combining the computer systems of the two airlines without problems. When United and Continental merged in 2012, marrying their reservation systems was rife with issues, and just this week, all United flights were grounded due to a faulty router.
Maya Leibman, American's chief information officer told the AP that American has programmed-in redundancies and disaster-recovery programs in critical systems. But referring to United, she said, "There is no technology leader that could stand up and say with 100 percent certainty that nothing like this could ever happen to them."
Whatever happens at go-time, American will have plenty of boots on the ground.
According to the AP, about 1,900 airport and reservations agents have been hired to give special training to the roughly 10,000 current employees making the switch from the US Airways reservations system, called Shares, to American's, provided by Sabre. Flights will also be reduced during the switchover as to not put too heavy a load on the computer.
Customers who booked a US Airways flight after Oct. 17 will get a American Airlines flight number bearing American's AA code.
In addition to the reservation change, the Fort Worth TX-based company still has to combine the crew-scheduling and maintenance-tracking systems.
American is currently the biggest airline operator in the world by passenger traffic.
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