Thursday May 30, 4:42 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: US Airways
US Airways Forms MidAtlantic Airways to Prepare for Planned Regional Jet Growth
ARLINGTON, Va., May 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- US Airways is reactivating the former Potomac Air in preparation for its planned expansion of regional jet operations. Potomac Air has been renamed MidAtlantic Airways and will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Airways Group, Inc., and as part of the US Airways Express network.
With its headquarters at US Airways' Pittsburgh hub, MidAtlantic Airways will begin operations in the fall, using a fleet of regional jet aircraft, subject to government approvals. US Airways is in discussion with a number of regional jet manufacturers, and the company expects to make a decision shortly on its selection of aircraft type.
Heading the subsidiary airline is Robert Brayton, president of MidAtlantic Airways, who has appointed the following management team: John Morales, vice president of maintenance; Jerome Wood, chief maintenance inspector; Brittany VanBuskirk, director of inflight service; Daniel Capozello, director of system control; Charles Hobbs, director of training; and Mitchell Fortson, director of human resources.
MidAtlantic Airways will employ about 500 staff, and recruitment will begin following the opening of the airline's offices next week within US Airways' existing facilities at RIDC Park West, close to Pittsburgh International Airport.
US Airways is seeking the reactivation of the former Potomac Air's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, and will fulfill all certification requirements with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"These are the initial preparations in the formation of MidAtlantic Airways as a fully operational US Airways Express carrier," said Dave Siegel, US Airways' president and chief executive officer. "The growth of regional jet operations is critical to the future of US Airways, and MidAtlantic Airways will undertake a key role in this development."
The development of MidAtlantic Airways follows a final agreement last month between US Airways and the Air Line Pilots Association, allowing US Airways to increase the number of regional jets within its US Airways Express network from 70 to 140. Siegel described the agreement with ALPA as "an important first step in helping US Airways strengthen its competitive position on the East Coast."
US Airways expects to deploy a significant proportion of the additional regional jets in MidAtlantic Airways. "The company is in active negotiations to acquire state-of-the-art new regional jet equipment," said Siegel. "We will be selecting an aircraft type that combines the latest in passenger comfort with operational reliability and efficiency."
Siegel said that MidAtlantic Airways will provide "as many jobs as possible" for US Airways' mainline employees furloughed following September 11. "We have an excellent management team in place, bringing valuable experience and expertise to this important venture," he said. "They are now beginning a recruitment and training program, that will be completed by early fall."
Brayton joins MidAtlantic Airways from Allegheny Airlines, another US Airways' subsidiary, where he was vice president of operations. Previously, he was vice president of operations with Virgin Express Airlines, based in Europe; and prior to that he was vice president of flight operations with Continental Express. Brayton also served as vice president of operations with the former Potomac Air.
Morales was previously US Airways' director of line maintenance at New York's LaGuardia Airport; Wood was formerly US Airways' manager line maintenance at Philadelphia, and VanBuskirk was manager of recruitment in US Airways' human resources division.
Capozello joins MidAtlantic Airways from United Airlines' express carrier, Atlantic Coast Airways where he was manager of system control. Capozello, together with Wood and VanBuskirk also held senior positions with the former Potomac Air. Hobbs was previously director of training at Continental Express; and Fortson was formerly director of human resources also at Continental Express.
Additional positions will be named shortly for chief pilot, director of operations, director of safety, and director of customer service.
MidAtlantic Airways becomes US Airways' fourth wholly-owned US Airways Express carrier, joining Allegheny Airlines, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines. They, together with seven other affiliate carriers, currently operate more than 2,200 US Airways Express flights daily, serving 162 destinations in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
Originally created to form the basis of DC Air as part of US Airways' merger agreement with United Airlines, Potomac Air ceased operations in October 2001.
The carrier, formed in late 2000, began flying operations in early 2001 from Ronald Reagan Washington National airport, using 37-seat Dash-8-200 aircraft. At its peak it served 15 key destinations in the Northeast. Operations were halted with the closure of Reagan National airport following September 11.