– Customers to Benefit from an Expanded Global Network and Investment in New Aircraft, Technology, Products, and Services
– Combined Company to Enhance oneworld® Alliance, Offering a Seamless Global Network
– Will Improve Loyalty Benefits by Expanding Member Opportunities to Earn and Redeem Miles
– Combination Provides Path to Improved Compensation and Benefits with Greater Long-Term Opportunities for Employees of Both Companies
– Combined Airline Expects to Maintain All Hubs and Service to All Destinations
– Expected 2015 Annual Synergies of More Than $1 Billion, Creating Value for Stakeholders of Both Companies
– Enhances Recoveries for Stakeholders
– AMR Stakeholders to Own 72% and US Airways Shareholders to Own 28% of Combined Company’s Common Stock
– Company to Retain Iconic, Globally Recognized American Airlines Brand
– Company to Be Headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth, with Significant Corporate and Operational Presence in Phoenix

FORT WORTH, TX, and TEMPE, AZ | February 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — AMR Corporation (OTCQB: AAMRQ), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) today announced that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine to create a premier global carrier, which will have an implied combined equity value of approximately $11 billion based on the price of US Airways’ stock as of February 13, 2013.

Operating under the American Airlines name, one of the most recognized brands in the world, the combined airline will have a robust global network and a strong financial foundation. The merger will offer benefits to both airlines’ customers, communities, employees, investors, and creditors. Customers will have access to more choices and increased service across the combined company’s larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance, of which American Airlines is a founding member. With firm orders for more than 600 new mainline aircraft, the combined airline will have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, and a solid foundation for continued investment in technology, products, and services.

Thomas Horton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines, will serve as Chairman of the combined airline’s Board of Directors through its first annual meeting of shareholders, and will also serve as the combined airline’s representative to the oneworld Alliance, of which he is currently chairman, and International Air Transport Association for the same duration. Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of US Airways, will serve as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Parker will assume the additional position of Chairman of the Board following the conclusion of Mr. Horton’s service. The Board of Directors will initially be made up of twelve members. The Board will be comprised of three American Airlines representatives, including Tom Horton, four US Airways representatives, including Doug Parker, and five AMR creditor representatives.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, US Airways stockholders will receive one share of common stock of the combined airline for each share of US Airways common stock then held. The aggregate number of shares of common stock of the combined airline issuable to holders of US Airways equity instruments (including stockholders, holders of convertible notes, optionees and holders of restricted stock units) will represent 28% of the diluted equity of the combined airline. The remaining 72% diluted equity ownership of the combined airline will be issuable to stakeholders of AMR and its debtor subsidiaries that filed for relief under Chapter 11 (the “Debtors”), American’s labor unions, and current AMR employees.

The merger is to be effected pursuant to a plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) for the Debtors in their currently pending cases under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Plan is subject to confirmation and consummation in accordance with the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code.

In connection with the merger agreement, AMR has entered into a support agreement with certain unsecured creditors holding approximately $1.2 billion of prepetition unsecured claims against the Debtors. Pursuant to the support agreement, the creditors party thereto have agreed, subject to certain conditions, to support a plan of reorganization implementing the merger and incorporating a compromise and settlement of certain intercreditor and intercompany claims issues. Provisions of the support agreement relating to the treatment of prepetition unsecured claims against the Debtors and the treatment of existing equity interests in AMR are summarized further below.

The combined airline will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. The combined airline is expected to maintain all hubs currently served by American Airlines and US Airways, resulting in more travel options for customers. Both airlines expect that the regional carriers they own – AMR Corporation’s American Eagle and US Airways’ Piedmont and PSA – will continue to operate as distinct entities, providing seamless service to the combined airline. The company will be headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth and will maintain a significant corporate and operational presence in Phoenix.

“Today, we are proud to launch the new American Airlines – a premier global carrier well equipped to compete and win against the best in the world,” said Tom Horton, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines. “Together, we will be even better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, people, investors, partners, and the many communities we serve.

“The combination of American and US Airways brings together two highly complementary networks with access to the best destinations around the globe and gives us a strong platform to provide our customers the most connected, comfortable travel experience available. The operational and financial strength of the combined airline is expected to enable continued investment in new products and technologies and will create exciting new opportunities for our people, even as we deliver strong cash flow and sustainable profitability.

“Over the past year, the American team stood tall as we established a rock solid foundation for long-term success through an efficient and effective restructuring. As part of this process, after months of exhaustive analysis and a thorough review of all alternatives, we concluded that this merger is the best outcome for our company, delivering not only the greatest value for our financial stakeholders, but also positioning us well for sustainable success over the long term.

“This merger provides enhanced potential for full recovery for our creditors. In addition, I am pleased that we were able to obtain the support of a sizable portion of our unsecured creditors for a plan that provides a recovery of at least a 3.5% aggregate ownership stake in the combined airline for our shareholders. It is unusual in Chapter 11 cases – and unprecedented in recent airline restructurings – for shareholders to receive meaningful recoveries. I look forward to working closely with Doug Parker, whom I have known as a friend for more than 25 years, and with the leadership teams of both companies to assure a smooth integration and the creation of a new industry leader.”

Doug Parker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Airways, said, “Today marks an exciting new chapter for American Airlines and US Airways. American Airlines is one of the world’s most iconic brands. The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace. Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers, ensuring that we are always able to take them where they want to travel, when they want to go.”

Parker continued, “Today’s announcement is possible only because of the important work carried out over the past year by Tom Horton and the American team. No one cares more about the long-term success of American Airlines and its people than Tom. Through a successful restructuring and this merger, Tom and the American team have established an excellent foundation for the new American Airlines to become a premier global airline. I am grateful for all that Tom has done to ensure that American is in the best position possible for future success and am delighted he has agreed to remain on board to assist with the transition.

“I am particularly pleased for the employees of both US Airways and American. This merger will create a stronger company, with the path to improved compensation and benefits and greater long-term opportunities for all our employees. We are grateful to have the support of both companies’ unions and thank them and their leaders for their hard work and vision. We look forward to a bright future for our employees and enhanced service and choice for our customers. With today’s announcement, we start becoming one team and one new airline.”

More Choices, Increased Service, and an Enhanced Travel Experience for Customers

The transaction will combine American Airlines’ and US Airways’ complementary flight networks, increasing efficiency and providing more options for customers. The result for consumers is a highly competitive alternative to other global carriers. Importantly, the combined worldwide network will offer superior breadth of schedule to high value travelers.

The combined airline is expected to:

– Provide the most service across the East Coast and Central regions of the U.S., including the East Coast shuttle, enhancing the combined carrier’s competitive position
– Expand its presence and further strengthen the network in the Western U.S.
– Bolster American’s industry-leading position in Latin America and the Caribbean
– Enhance connectivity within the oneworld Alliance – including joint businesses with British Airways and Iberia across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific – creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally
– Serve 21 destinations in Europe and the Middle East
– Maintain current hubs of both American Airlines and US Airways, resulting in more choices for customers
– Improve traffic flows through the existing hubs of both carriers
– Expand service from those hubs to offer increased service to existing markets and service to new cities
– Provide an industry-leading travel experience through innovative initiatives intended to increase comfort and connectivity for all customers
– Improve valuable loyalty program benefits through expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network

In addition, American Airlines’ landmark agreements with Airbus and Boeing, designed to transform the American Airlines fleet over the next four years, will solidify the combined airline’s fleet plan into the next decade. The combined airline is planning to take delivery of more than 600 new aircraft, including 517 narrowbody aircraft and 90 widebody international aircraft, most of which will be equipped with advanced in-seat inflight entertainment systems offering thousands of hours of programming, inflight Wi-Fi offering connectivity throughout the world, and “Main Cabin Extra” seating with 4-6 inches of additional legroom in the Main Cabin. The combined carrier’s fleet will also feature fully lie-flat, all-aisle access premium seating on American’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and Airbus 321 Transcontinental deliveries slated for later this year. Similar to US Airways’ Airbus A330 international Envoy service, American will also retrofit existing 777-200 and 767-300 aircraft to include fully lie-flat premium seating in an effort to provide a consistent experience for customers flying on the combined carrier.

Customers can continue to book travel and track and manage flights and frequent flyer activity through AA.com or USAirways.com, and will continue to enjoy all benefits and rewards of the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles frequent flyer programs. At this time, there are no changes to the frequent flyer programs of either airline as a result of the merger agreement. All miles in both programs will continue to be honored. Upon merger approval, additional information will be provided to customers of both frequent flyer programs on any future program updates, including account consolidation or benefit alignment.

Employees to Benefit from Greater Long-Term Opportunities

Employees of the combined airline will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stable financial foundation, which will create greater opportunities over the long term. Each carrier’s employees will receive reciprocal travel privileges as quickly as possible. The merger will also provide the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees.

“Together we will combine the proud histories of both airlines and create one team that recognizes the contributions of all employees to our airlines’ great customer service and financial success. Our future has never looked brighter thanks to the outstanding people of both American Airlines and US Airways,” concluded Parker.

As previously announced, the unions representing American Airlines pilots, flight attendants and ground employees, as well as the union representing US Airways pilots, have agreed to terms for improved collective bargaining agreements effective upon the closing of the merger. In addition, the union representing US Airways flight attendants has reached a tentative agreement that includes support for the merger. The American Airlines unions representing pilots and flight attendants are working with their US Airways counterparts to determine representation and single agreement protocols.

Superior Value for Stakeholders

American Airlines stakeholders and US Airways shareholders are expected to benefit from the significant upside potential of the new combined airline, which is expected to have approximately $40 billion in revenues based upon the combination of each company’s projected 2013 performance. The combination is expected to deliver enhanced value to American Airlines stakeholders and is projected to be significantly accretive to EPS for US Airways shareholders in 2014.

The transaction is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies in 2015, including $900 million in network revenue synergies, resulting predominantly from increased passenger traffic, taking advantage of the combined carrier’s improved schedule and connectivity, an improved mix of high-yield business, and the redeployment of the combined fleet to better match capacity to customer demand. Estimated cost synergies of approximately $150 million are net of the impact of the new labor combined contracts at American Airlines and US Airways. The companies expect one-time transition costs for the merger of approximately $1.2 billion, spread over the next three years.

The abovementioned provisions of the support agreement relating to the treatment of prepetition unsecured claims against the Debtors and existing equity interests in AMR under a plan are summarized as follows:

– Holders of existing AMR equity interests will receive an aggregate initial distribution of 3.5% of the common stock of the combined airline on the effective date of the plan, with the potential to receive additional shares if the value of common stock received by holders of prepetition unsecured claims would satisfy their claims in full;

– So-called “double dip” creditors (i.e., holders of prepetition unsecured claims as to which both AMR and American Airlines are obligors, either directly or indirectly) will receive shares of mandatorily convertible preferred stock equal to the full amount of their claims. These shares will convert into common stock of the combined airline at 30 day intervals during the 120 day period following the effective date of the plan, based on a formula tied to the market price of the common stock of the combined airline;

– So-called “single dip” creditors (i.e., holders of prepetition unsecured claims that are not guaranteed) will receive a combination of shares of the same class of mandatorily convertible preferred stock as the “double dip” creditors will receive and shares of common stock of the combined airline; and

– American Airlines’ labor unions and other employees will receive an aggregate of 23.6% of the common stock of the combined airline ultimately distributed to holders of prepetition unsecured claims against the Debtors.

The support agreement can be terminated in certain instances, including the failure of the Debtors to achieve certain milestones toward confirmation and consummation of the plan.

Clear Roadmap to Completion

The merger is conditioned on the approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions, and confirmation and consummation of the Plan. The combination is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013. During the period between the signing and closing of the transaction, a transition-planning team comprised of leaders from both companies will develop a carefully constructed integration plan to help assure a smooth and sustainable transition.


Rothschild is serving as financial advisor to American Airlines, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Jones Day, Paul Hastings, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and K&L Gates LLP are serving as legal counsel. Barclays and Millstein & Co. are serving as financial advisors to US Airways, and Latham & Watkins LLP, O’Melveny & Myers, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and Dechert LLP are serving as legal counsel to US Airways. Moelis & Company and Mesirow Financial are serving as financial advisors to the Unsecured Creditors Committee. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Togut, Segal & Segal LLP are serving as the Unsecured Creditors Committee’s legal counsel.

Tax Benefit Preservation Plan

In conjunction with execution of the Merger Agreement, US Airways also announced today that its Board of Directors has adopted a tax benefit preservation plan designed to help preserve the value of the net operating losses and other deferred tax benefits of US Airways and the combined enterprise resulting from the merger with AMR. The tax benefit preservation plan, which is effective immediately and will remain in place no longer than the closing of the merger, is designed to reduce the likelihood that changes in the US Airways investor base would limit the future use of the tax benefits by US Airways or the combined enterprise, which would significantly impair the value of the benefits to all shareholders.

As part of the plan, the US Airways Board of Directors has declared a dividend of one common stock purchase right, which are referred to as “rights,” for each outstanding share of US Airways common stock. The rights will be exercisable if a person or group, without the approval of the US Airways board or other permitted exception, acquires beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of US Airways’ outstanding common stock. The rights also will be exercisable if a person or group that already beneficially owns 4.9% or more of the common stock of US Airways, without board approval or other permitted exception, acquires additional shares (other than as a result of a dividend or a stock split). If the rights become exercisable, all holders of rights, other than the person or group triggering the rights, will be entitled to purchase US Airways common stock at a 50% discount. Rights held by the person or group triggering the rights will become void and will not be exercisable. The rights will expire immediately upon the occurrence of certain events, including the closing of the merger or the termination of the merger agreement. In addition, the certificate of incorporation of the combined company will contain limitations on certain acquisitions and dispositions of shares effective from and after the closing of the merger, also with the objective of preserving the value of net operating losses and other deferred tax benefits.

US Airways shareholders with ownership positions near or above the 4.9% threshold specified in the tax preservation plan are urged to review its terms carefully. Further details about the plan will be contained in a Form 8-K to be filed today by US Airways with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Additional information about the benefits of the transaction is available at a new joint website launched by the airlines at www.newAmericanarriving.com. Customers are also invited to learn more at www.aa.com/arriving and www.usairways.com/arriving.

Washington | February 14, 2013/PRNewswire-USNewswire/- The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) represents nearly 10,000 Flight Attendants at US Airways and wholly owned subsidiaries Piedmont and PSA, as well as AMR wholly owned subsidiary American Eagle. As these airlines combine to become the world’s largest, Flight Attendants stand in unity for recognition of their contributions to the success of US Airways and American Airlines:


“For decades, the professional contributions of AFA Flight Attendants have been instrumental in the overall success of our airlines. Flight Attendants from five airlines will be affected by a US Airways/American merger and together, we expect to be full partners in the benefits created by forming the world’s largest airline.

“For this merger to be productive, it is imperative that it not only work for all Flight Attendants, but for all employees at both carriers. The new American will provide one of the world’s strongest networks – and that includes the work of all Flight Attendants in that network. No one can be left behind – we know that together, American Airlines will be stronger.

“As we continue to navigate the merger process, we will work with our flying partners at American Airlines to take advantage of emerging opportunities that will reward our hard work and improve the lives of all Flight Attendants.”

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

TEMPE, Ariz., March 29, 2010 — Today, US Airways (NYSE: LCC) launched a new wireless Internet product, Gogo® Inflight Internet, on five of its Airbus A321 aircraft. Gogo, which is provided by Aircell, allows passengers to use their laptops or Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices to surf the Web, email friends and family, log into corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and access online entertainment options.

By June 1, all 51 A321s in US Airways’ fleet will be Gogo-equipped. As Wi-Fi is installed on each aircraft between now and June, a Wi-Fi symbol on the outside of the plane at the boarding door will alert passengers that Gogo is available on their flight. The symbol will also appear throughout the cabin next to the seat and row number, and seatback cards will provide instructions on how to access the service. Beginning in late June, US Airways’ passengers will be able to determine if Wi-Fi is available on their flight when they book travel on usairways.com.

Here’s how it works: At 10,000 feet, US Airways’ flight attendants will make an announcement that passengers can enable their Wi-Fi devices. Passengers can connect to the service by turning on their laptop or mobile device, looking for and connecting to the ‘gogoginflight’ Wi-Fi signal, launching their Web browser, creating a profile and paying for their session with a major credit card.

“Gogo fits in perfectly with our business model by offering more choices in flight,” said Andrew Nocella, senior vice president, marketing and planning for US Airways. “Our customers are able to be more productive with their time and have new ways to stay entertained in the air.”

“We are pleased to announce US Airways’ deployment of Gogo, and we look forward to providing US Airways with in flight Internet access to enhance their customers’ travel experience,” said Michael Small, Aircell’s president and chief executive officer. “The ability to remain connected to the ground at 30,000 feet provides a significant improvement to the airline travel experience. As travelers throughout the country come to expect in flight Internet service, we are thrilled to be able to deliver this experience to US Airways and their passengers.”

To introduce Gogo, US Airways is allowing customers the chance to try it for free. From March 29 through June 1, first-time Gogo users will get one free session when they create their profile. US Airways will celebrate the completion of its fleet installation by offering free Gogo access to everyone who flies on a Wi-Fi equipped US Airways flight from June 1 through June 8. For more information, visit www.usairways.com/gogo.

*Gogo Inflight Internet is not available internationally. If you’re flying to/from an international city, the service will only be available while over the contiguous 48 U.S. states and within 100 miles of its borders. For more information visit www.usairways.com/gogo.

Lumexis Corporation reports that US Airways trial of its Fiber-To-The-Screen™ (FTTS™), now in its tenth week is proving both extremely popular with users and exceptionally reliable during its highly anticipated airline operational evaluation. The system was installed on an Airbus A320 aircraft in January and approved for Part 121 operation under FAA STC. It has been flying since early March and has now accumulated some 275 flights and over 1,000 hours of operation during regular revenue service.

Lumexis ™ CEO Doug Cline reports that the aircraft has been flying between Orange County, Phoenix, Atlanta and back daily with no system failures. “I have been manufacturing major avionics systems for over thirty years and this is without a doubt the most impressive record for a sophisticated new system entering service. We have never delayed a single flight and have never even required a system reboot” he marvels. “That is truly unprecedented for any high performance, multi-user AVOD system. As a result of this achievement, a number of airlines have had key managers on the aircraft and we are currently in negotiations with several of them for future installations.”

Cline continued that “The Lumexis ™ system is built around an advanced Fiber Optic Technology which is far simpler than legacy AVOD systems offered by other IFE manufacturers. This extensive flight demonstration evidences that the architecture’s fewer boxes and much lower parts count yield an inherently more reliable system.”

Lumexis ™ is a manufacturer and marketer of Inflight Entertainment and eCommerce Systems located in Costa Mesa, California, adjacent to Orange County Airport. The company can be contacted through its website, www.lumexis.com , by email at sales@lumexis.com or by telephone at +1.714.641.4900.

TEMPE, Ariz. and COSTA MESA, Calif., March 9, 2009– US Airways (NYSE: LCC) and Lumexis Corporation have partnered to test an innovative, next generation in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. On certain flights, US Airways customers will have access to hundreds of on-demand IFE options including movies, music, games and shopping.

What makes Lumexis Fiber-To-The-Screen™(FTTS™) the next generation system when compared to current IFE solutions is its advanced fiber optic technology, which requires less hardware and reduces the system’s weight by as much 50 percent. The Lumexis technology replaces traditional copper wire-based systems that were heavy, offered limited bandwidth and required under-seat boxes that reduced passenger leg room. The FTTS™ system substantially reduces the overall cost of ownership by lowering acquisition cost, minimizing spares provisioning, reducing fuel burn (from lower weight) and decreasing repair/maintenance costs (from simpler architecture). It also has the ability to provide HD quality content.

Customers can find themselves in the middle of a rock concert at 35,000 feet when they tune into Bon Jovi: Live from London (US Airways asks that passengers refrain from body surfing while the seat belt sign is illuminated) or young travelers (and those that are young at heart) can immerse themselves in an aquatic adventure with Finding Nemo.

Recently installed on a US Airways Airbus A320 and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation during regular revenue flights, the system will be available for passenger use on a flight trial that begins today. The installation was designed and overseen by Inflight Canada, and FAA certification was accomplished through Aero Certification & Engineering.

Lumexis’ robust IFE system will offer US Airways’ customers more than 250 hours of content with 227 entertainment options including: 30 movies ranging from family fun to action-packed, 86 entertaining and educational television programs, four audio books, 100 music CDs with musical programming available for even the most discerning fan and seven games. Customers can choose their on-demand entertainment through an intuitive seat-back touch screen and pay using a debit or credit card in the seat-back unit.

The aircraft will primarily fly between Santa Ana, Calif., Phoenix and Atlanta. Tray table liners with instructions on how to use the system, specially trained flight attendant product experts and a Lumexis representative will be available on all flights to assist customers and US Airways flight attendants working the flight. A survey is included in the system to allow customers to provide input on the types of entertainment they prefer and how the system can be enhanced.

US Airways’ Senior Vice President, Marketing and Planning, Andrew Nocella said, “US Airways is proud to have contributed to the development of the Lumexis system. During the flight trial we plan to learn more about the types of programming our customers want and how they want to pay for them. We’ll be testing bundled pay-per-use and a la carte pay-per-view options at different price points. Testing this system provides yet another option as we continue to expand our “pay for what you choose to use” business model. The data we’ll gather will also help us determine our long-term domestic in-flight entertainment plans.”

Douglas Cline, CEO of Lumexis added, “The IFE Industry was introduced to superior performance and ease of using FTTS™ at the World Airline Entertainment Association Convention in Long Beach, Calif. last year. As a result, airlines and aircraft manufacturers around the world will be closely following this first-ever deployment of a fully fiber optic-based network. The Lumexis team is delighted to be getting airborne with US Airways and to working with its cabin crews and passengers during the trial.”
About Lumexis

Lumexis Corporation is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of advanced In-Flight Entertainment and Communication Systems built on a core competency in fiber optic technology. With headquarters adjacent to Orange County, California’s John Wayne Airport, the company may be reached at +1.714.641.4900 or on the Web at www.lumexis.com.

About US Airways

US Airways was America’s number one on-time airline in 2008 among the “Big Six” hub-and-spoke airlines according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more than 3,100 flights per day and serves 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline employs nearly 34,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers our customers more than 16,500 daily flights to 912 destinations in 159 countries worldwide. And for the tenth consecutive year, the airline received a Diamond Award for maintenance training excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Charlotte, North Carolina hub line maintenance facility. For more company information, visit usairways.com. (LCCG)

Wow, the Internet has been buzzing about the Lumexis install on US Airways A320 demo plane. We have been getting unsolicited input from our spy network and we thought our readers would like to get up to speed. 

Firstly, the Lumexis fiber optic system has been installed on airplane T/N 680 in Rome, New York. With work beginning on Jan. 5, 2009 it took some 23 days to complete it. All seats have been equipped for a total of 150 stations. A FAA flight test was performed last week. Insiders state that installation supplier, Inflight Canada, exclaimed that Lumexis is the easiest retrofit of this level of system they have ever performed!  One source noted that one of the installers said that with a bit of pre-installation effort on “A” checks, planes like A330’s and A340’s could be retrofitted in 7 days! Think about it, cable placement has been made a lot easier because of the complete disregard for EMI/RFI issues – cable placement and noise are a thing of the past because of the under floor seat boxes and dedicated cable “tubes”.  

We also understand that Inflight Canada designed the iCache system, which uses a patented beam (stringer) grabber that greatly did away with the drilling, rivets and sealing used in normal mechanical installs, and yes, we asked our spies about the fiber optic cable installation in the seats. It seems Smallhorn went to the Canadian Military to get smart on these processes and we hear they got a real education. The military uses a lot of fiber and has developed a skill set with this technology. This probably contributed to the easy seat modification that ensued. The system needed no special ATE or test equipment… they plugged in cables and it worked! About the only note we feel should be made is with respect to weight. While the Lumexis system itself is probably the lightest installed, full capability in-flight entertainment system, the added boxes and tubes of the full installation package no doubt raised the final number. 

The Inflight Canada and Lumexis folks aren’t talking but we think there is another North American customer in the works. As soon as the final DCN’s are submitted and approved, the system will be certified to fly un-placarded and powered up with passengers. We hear the plane is in service today, flying out of Phoenix. Additionally, we understand a full offering is planned for each seat when in service. Specially trained flight attendants will explain and promote the system to passengers. Pax usage data is to be downloaded to the airline’s operations center after landing. The EV-DO, cellular-based Secure Data Bridge facility (cell phone network) that supports the data gathering was tested during the FAA-mandated verification flight. We understand it worked extremely well and may be the new standard of data IFE download (Yes, we know it is not new). 

Here is a great blog for more insider stuff:

We may eat, sleep, and breath In-Flight Entertainment here at IFExpress central, but sometimes our industry problems are simply lost in the events of the times. This is one of those times… at least here in the US. As aviation, and a heckuva lot of other industries, take a nosedive, there are forces at work that promise to build a better world – aviation not withstanding. Recent events in New York may be the poster child of things to come. Seeing all those passengers standing on the wings of an A320 surrounded by first responders looked like the most one could make out of a really bad day flying. Actually, that imagery may be the beginning of some good news, badly needed. An airplane loss good news? More on that later. 

No doubt, the forthcoming economic experiences will be humbling. The effects on all of us will be more taxes, more stress, more headaches, more loss, and if we are lucky, more hope. While we all tighten our belts in expectation of the forthcoming year, it has to be worth the cost if we can see the possibility of a better future, a cleaner environment and a healthier aviation industry… a couple of years down the road (US Economy 2.0). From the airline point of view, recent fuel increases have created leaner airlines. Ones not necessarily in tune with passenger needs, but airlines that can survive lean times. 

From the perspective of US citizens, we know there is going to be more donation of personal time and personal contribution to our neighborhoods, our economy and our environment. This will be true, to one degree or another, in almost all other countries and while crappy slogans like “we feel your pain” are better left for soap operas, one could say it applies here. Moreover, we tried to think of a positive message to send out to our readers like the Chinese proverb used in the Hot Topic title. Euphemistically, it could be considered a curse as well, but as one might expect, no Chinese person has ever been accorded the attribution of the saying. So in that vein, we have to consider that current events, while interesting, might be starting to take a turn for the better! Hey, perhaps the glass is half full?

As we mentioned earlier, note should be made of a recent aviation incident in the US, the US Airways Flight 1549.  We wanted to acknowledge the airplane – the Airbus A320. While the obvious heroes of the stricken flight are unquestionably the captain, crew, and first responders, the durable little plane from Airbus endured a landing on water, deployed chutes and rafts, supported passengers and crew on its floating metal fuselage and wings, while generally acting as an aluminum life raft for some 156 people. This did not go unnoticed by us and we offer a tip-o-the-hat to all the professionals at Airbus and US Airways who build, support, fly, and maintain such a fine product.