- The Washington Times - Monday, July 15, 2002

US Airways has reached a tentative agreement with its pilots on the company's restructuring plan.
Under the pact reached late Saturday, the troubled Arlington-based airline agreed to give its pilots a 20 percent stake in the company in exchange for $465 million in yearly wage cuts.
Also, US Airways reserved the right to lay off pilots for financial reasons, a provision Air Line Pilots Association spokesman Roy Freundlich said was an unfortunate product of the airline's need to cut costs to stay out of bankruptcy.
"The job-security provisions of this agreement are something the pilots are going to have to seriously look at," Mr. Freundlich said. "These are people who have worked for the company for more than a decade. They have good roots here."
More than 1,000 US Airways pilots were laid off after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Job security was one of the final sticking points during negotiations. The carrier and the pilots had agreed to the 20 percent stake and wage cuts earlier in the week.
US Airways agreed to a minimum fleet size of 275 that could drop to 245 in the event of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Mr. Freundlich said.
US Airways is working to cut about $950 million in expenses in an effort to stave off bankruptcy. The federal government last week approved a $900 million loan through the Air Transportation Stabilization Board, conditional on US Airways finalizing new agreements with its employees and allowing the government to have a bigger potential stake in the company.
The loan comes from the $10 billion fund established to help airlines recover from losses related to the attacks. Sixteen airlines have applied for loans; US Airways and America West are the only two to be approved so far, and 12 airlines including United Airlines have requests pending.
The company reported a loss of $269 million ($3.97 per share) for the first quarter of 2002, compared with a loss of $171 million ($2.55 per share) a year earlier.
Its shares dropped more than $6, or 50 percent, immediately after September 11 and have fallen almost $2 more since then. Shares closed at $3.65 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday.
The pilots union's Master Executive Council for the US Airways unit, a group that acts as the governing body for pilots of the airline, also ratified a part of the agreement that would allow the airline to enter into expanded code-sharing agreements with other airlines.
"This landmark agreement will contribute significantly to the revival of US Airways and will protect the core priorities of the company and of ALPA's rank-and-file membership," US Airways' Senior Vice President Jerry Glass said in a statement. The company said it would not comment further.
Mr. Freundlich said the pilots will vote Aug. 8.

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