PITTSBURGH – Earlier today, the Department of Justice announced a proposed settlement with US Airways and American Airlines that requires the companies to divest facilities at certain airports to enhance system-wide competition. The proposed settlement, if approved by the Court, will resolve the Department of Justice’s competitive concerns as well as challenges from six states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald called the announcement a mixed bag for Pittsburgh International Airport, “There is good news and bad news in this announcement. The airlines guaranteed that the number of flights provided at Pittsburgh International will remain the same for the next five years. That is a big win for our region, and we’re hopeful that the changes for other airports may result in the addition of more flights for Pittsburgh,” said Fitzgerald. “Unfortunately, we were unable to get any guarantees for the operations or maintenance facilities at the airport. We will continue to make the case that Pittsburgh is the best place for these facilities and look forward to working with the leadership of the new airline as they grow into the future.”
“The guarantee on base line flights for five years means a lot to this region,” said Bradley D. Penrod, President of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “The five-year projections on job growth and expansion for this area, as well as the fact that the airport debt will be paid off in that time frame, puts the Pittsburgh International Airport in a very good place to be able to further grow our airport and the flights we offer.”
Allegheny County Economic Development Director, and Airport Authority Board Member, Dennis Davin said that while there was no guarantee related to the operations or maintenance facilities, that the effort to keep those operations here is not over: “We have made, and will continue to make, the case that our employees and facilities here in Pittsburgh are second to none, and that there is much to be gained by the airlines if they keep these facilities operating, or expanding them, in Pittsburgh. There are 1,800 jobs that are located in those two facilities and we know that those employees, and their families, rely upon those positions staying in Pittsburgh and we will continue to do everything we can to keep them here.”
“Attorney General Kathleen Kane and our federal Congressional delegation, particularly Congressman Mike Doyle and Senator Bob Casey, deserve a great deal of credit for making the Pennsylvania/Pittsburgh case that led to this proposed settlement,” said Fitzgerald. “Without their interest and advocacy, we may not have been able to ensure that the airport’s concerns were heard and addressed, nor have received any guarantees about air service moving forward.”
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