America West Holdings

America West Holdings

America West Holdings Corporation was an Arizona-based company owned by US Airways Group Inc. Its primary holding was America West Airlines.

America West's corporate offices in Tempe were housed in one of the first commercial high-rise buildings constructed in the downtown area, featuring a unique "airfoil" motif in the shape of its roof.


The company was founded September 4, 1981 by a group of investors lead by Edward R. Beauvais. The first flight for America West Airlines took place on August 1, 1983 using a leased B-737. [cite web |url= |title=America West Holdings Corporation |accessdate=2008-08-23 |work= |publisher= |date= ] [cite web |url= |title=Unofficial History of America West |accessdate=2008-08-23 |work= |publisher= |date= ] Beauvais ran the company until he resigned in 1992. [cite web |url= |title=America West Airlines, Inc. |accessdate=2008-08-23 |work= |publisher= |date= ]

In December, 2004, America West Holdings Corporation announced interest in buying part of ATA Airlines, but did not submit a bid.

On May 19, 2005 the corporation and US Airways Group Inc. announced plans to merge their operations.

On September 27, 2005, the merger with US Airways Group Inc. was completed.

Merger with US Airways Group

On April 22, 2005 it was announced that America West Holdings Corporation was in talks with US Airways Group Inc., which owns US Airways, regarding a possible merger with the latter. [cite press release |title=America West Statement Regarding US Airways Discussions |publisher= America West Holdings |date=2005-08-22 |url= |format= |language= |accessdate=2008-08-23 |quote= ] As reported in the press, US Airways would create a new holding company. Shares in that company would be given to America West Holdings shareholders as well as creditors of US Airways.Fact|date=August 2008

On May 19, 2005, America West Holdings Corporation and US Airways Group Inc. announced plans to merge their operations. The Wall Street Journal reportedFact|date=August 2008 that Doug Parker, America West's chief executive, said the merger would create "the nation's first full-service airline with the customer-friendly pricing structure of a low-fare carrier." The proposed combined airline hopes to achieve profitability by cutting $600 million a year in costs. New equity investors, including Air Wisconsin Airways Corporation and ACE Aviation Holdings, the parent company of Air Canada, pledged to invest a total of $350 million in the new company. Airbus was also one of the investors.

Later investments increased the total new equity raised to $565 million. Of that, ACE Aviation would contribute $75 million for a 7% ownership stake. ACE Aviation would also receive a five-year, C$1.5 billion (US$1.19 billion) contract to maintain all of the merged company's mainline jets. ACE Aviation would also provide other services for the new company, including ground handling, training, and operation of regional jets. Such cooperation is expected to bring more traffic to Air Canada from the merged carriers, and could lead to a code-sharing alliance in the future, the "Journal" reported.

On September 13, 2005, America West's shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement. Shareholders approved the transaction with 95.5 percent in favor. [cite press release |title= America West Holdings Corporation Announces Results of Stockholder Vote on the Adoption of the Merger Agreement With US Airways|publisher=America West Holdings Corporation |date=2005-09-13 |url=|format= |language= |accessdate=2008-08-23 |quote=] cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=America West shareholders approve proposed merger with US Airways |url= |work=USATODAY |publisher= |date=2005-09-13 |accessdate=2008-08-23]

On September 16, 2005, the US Bankruptcy Court approved USAirways Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, clearing the way for the merger to be closed as soon as September 27, 2005. [cite press release |title=US Airways Plan Of Reorganization Receives U.S. Bankruptcy Court Approval |publisher=America West Holdings Corporation |date=2005-09-16 |url= |format= |language= |accessdate= |quote= ]

The "Journal" characterized the merger proposal as " [offering] a huge break to US Airways and potentially [carrying] big risks for America West," which is in better fiscal shape. In the weeks leading up to the merger announcement, Phoenix-area media reported that local passengers worried about cuts in service to the city's Sky Harbor International Airport, where America West has its largest hub; such things have happened before when US Airways (or a predecessor company) merged with a regional airline. But while the new company would operate under the US Airways name, management would be led by America West Airlines managers and would be located at America West's Phoenix headquarters.

Under terms of the merger agreement, America West Holdings was merged into "Barbell Acquisition Corporation", a subsidiary of US Airways Group Inc., on September 27, 2005. Through this transaction, America West Holdings became a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways Group. [cite web |url= |title= PROSPECTUS US AIRWAYS GROUP, INC.|accessdate=2008-08-23 |work= |publisher= |date= ] For accounting purposes only, America West Holdings was treated as the acquiring company in accordance with SFAS No. 141, which enabled the newly formed company to expedite and immediately make public its stock, foregoing a lengthy registration and IPO process. [cite web |url= |title= PROSPECTUS US AIRWAYS GROUP, INC.|accessdate=2008-08-23 |work= |publisher= |date= ] Both of the merged airlines retained their names and continued operating until September 25, 2007 when America West's FAA certificate was merged into US Airways.


*America West Airlines
*America West Express
*America West Vacations This division provides vacation packages that include airfare, accommodations and optional rental cars at selected destinations. These are only offered for destinations that America West flies to or offers as a code share destination.


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