- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2003


Pilots at US Airways Group yesterday called for the ouster of the Arlington airline’s top two executives, saying deep cuts in pilots’ pay and benefits through two restructurings have failed to yield positive results.

The Herndon-based pilots’ union said Chief Executive Officer David Siegel and Chief Financial Officer Neal Cohen ought to resign, only days after the airline released third-quarter figures showing a loss of $90 million.

“We’ve given billions of dollars’ worth of concessions, the largest concessionary package in the history of commercial aviation,” said Bill Pollock, chairman of the US Airways pilots executive council. “In bankruptcy, these senior executives had every tool, every advantage they needed, to turn the airline around — yet they’ve failed.”

The council is a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents more than 5,000 pilots at US Airways.

David G. Bronner, chairman of the board for US Airways Group, came to Mr. Siegel’s defense and pointed to the airline’s successes this year: It emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, received a federal loan guarantee, and had an industry-best improvement in revenue generation and cost cuts, plus the financing of regional jets.

“To accomplish these goals, Dave Siegel and his team have had to earn the confidence of investors, government agencies and the banking and financial community,” Mr. Bronner said.

Mr. Siegel was in Washington yesterday, discussing company plans with several hundred US Airways managers. Last month, he had warned airline workers that further cost cutting would be required.

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