Tag Archives: us airways

traveltips

Sky Harbor Offers Holiday Travel Tips

July is a busy travel time at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and passenger traffic for the July Fourth Holiday is expected to peak before the holiday on July 2nd and 3rd and after on July 6. America’s Friendliest Airport® has several travel tips to make your trip easier and more enjoyable.

Save Money with Convenient Parking: Prepaid Discount Parking gives travelers the opportunity to park in the terminal garage at a reduced price. Travelers can avoid the summer sun by booking and prepaying for their parking using an easy online reservation system. Discounted parking is available in the Terminal 2, Terminal 3, or Terminal 4 garages. Those using Prepaid Discount Parking should take a ticket when entering the garage, then present the ticket and the prepaid parking confirmation (printed or on a smartphone) to the cashier upon exit. To reserve parking, visit skyharbor.com/prepaidparking.

Check your bags before arriving at the terminal – Early Bag Check is a handy service that gives travelers flying American, Southwest or US Airways the opportunity to check their bags before they arrive at Terminal 4 and avoid the ticket counter lines. The service is available at East Economy Parking, the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station® and at the Rental Car Center. Early Bag Check is free, though airline bag fees still apply. For additional information, including hours of operation at each location, visit skyharbor.com/earlybagcheck.

Additional important travel tips:
* Arrive at the Airport two hours before your flight departs, especially if you are parking in economy areas or checking bags.
* Looking for a handy pick-up and drop-off spot? Save time by dropping off and picking up your party at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station rather than at Terminal 4. The station offers Early Bag Check and kiosks to print your boarding passes. It also offers a quick, five-minute ride to Terminal 4 on the PHX Sky Train ®. Wait for your party free of charge at the Cell Phone Waiting Lot or use a four-hour parking meter to ride the train in to meet your party. To access the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station from the 202 Red Mountain Freeway, exit at 44th Street and head south. The PHX Sky Train Station is on the southwest corner of 44th Street and Washington.
* Look through your purse or carry-on bag before you come to the Airport. A forgotten weapon can cause you delays, hassles, and even fines. Make your travel experience hassle-free: double check your bag BEFORE you come to the airport. Visit tsa.gov for information about what can be placed in your carry-on. And, remember, fireworks are prohibited.
* For updated information on parking lot and garage availability, visit skyharbor.com/FindASpot or call our 24-hour parking hotline at 602-273-4545.
* Visit skyharbor.com on your smartphone or tablet to access our award-winning mobile website. Check your flight status and find out which shops and restaurants are near your gate. Arrive early and grab a bite to eat at one of our new restaurants. Enjoy traveler favorites like Matt’s Big Breakfast, Four Peaks Brewery, Blanco Tacos and more.

Rio West Business Park

American Airlines Group renews Tempe lease

CBRE has negotiated a 201,724-square-foot lease at Rio West Business Park, a class A office complex located at 1821, 1921 and 2021 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, Ariz.

Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines Group, the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways, is the anchor tenant of the business park, where the company houses accounting, customer service and IT jobs. American also has staff facilities at 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway and reservations and customer service functions at other locations in Tempe, in addition to its airport flight, training and maintenance operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The company employs more than 10,000 people in Arizona.

American’s new lease agreements for the Rio West space run through April 2019 for Buildings B and E and September 2017 for Building A. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tom Adelson in CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the tenant in the lease agreement. The landlord, Leavitt-Wolff Tempe Holdings LLC of Seattle, was represented by Warren Johnston, also of CBRE’s Phoenix office.

usairways

American, US Airways unite at Sky Harbor

In the next step to co-locate operations across the combined network,
American Airlines Group Inc. today announces that American Airlines will join US Airways’
operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4 on Wednesday, Feb.
26. With its last departure the night of Tuesday, Feb. 25, American will end operations at
Terminal 3. The move will help facilitate a more seamless experience for employees
based in Phoenix and for customers flying in and out of the hub.

All American Airlines ticketing and check-in, gates, baggage services and customer
service operations will begin working out of Terminal 4 the morning of Feb. 26. American’s
ticketing and check-in counters will be located on Level 2, conveniently located next to US
Airways ticketing and check-in location. American’s flights will operate out of gates B7,
B9, B11, B13 and B14, with easy access to connecting flights on US Airways in both the A
and B Concourse of Terminal 4.

With the terminal move, American Airlines Admirals Club members will now have
convenient access to three US Airways Clubs at Sky Harbor Airport without transferring
between terminals. US Airways Clubs can be found at Terminal 4 on Concourse A above
gates A7 and A9, and between gates A19 and A21. The US Airways Club located on
Concourse B above gates B5 and B7, is currently closed for renovation and is scheduled
to re-open in March. For more information about US Airways Clubs, visit
www.usairways.com/club.

usairways

Deal reached for American, US Airways to merge

The Justice Department says it has reached an agreement to allow American Airlines and US Airways to merge, creating the world’s biggest airline.

The agreement requires the airlines to scale back the size of the merger at Washington’s Reagan National Airport and in other big cities.

In August, the government sued to block the merger, saying it would restrict competition and drive up prices for consumers on hundreds of routes around the country.

The airlines have said their deal would increase competition by creating another big competitor to United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which grew through recent mergers.

The settlement reached Tuesday would require approval by a federal judge in Washington. It would require American and US Airways to give up takeoff and landing rights or slots at Reagan National and New York’s LaGuardia Airport and gates at airports in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami to low-cost carriers to offset the impact of the merger.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the agreement would ensure more competition on nonstop and connecting routes throughout the country. The department called the slot and gate divestitures at key airports “groundbreaking.”

usairways

Mediator will help settle proposed airlines merger lawsuit

American Airlines, US Airways and the U.S. Justice Department say that they have agreed on a mediator to try to settle the government’s lawsuit against the airlines’ proposed merger.

But if they can’t settle, the sides are preparing for a trial scheduled to start Nov. 25.

The CEOs of American parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. have said they were open to a settlement that would allow the merger to go ahead, but have declined to discuss details of negotiations.

The airlines and the Justice Department said in a court filing Monday that they have agreed to a mediator suggested by a U.S. district court judge in Washington. They gave no other details.

They also said that they have finished much of the exchange of information that comes before a trial. The federal government and six states have taken depositions from 19 employees of the two airlines. Both sides have also interviewed under oath nine other people, mostly executives of other airlines, they said.

Separately, four airports dominated by American and US Airways — Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Philadelphia International Airport — were granted the chance to file friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the merger.

The Justice Department sued in August to block the merger, saying that the deal would limit competition and drive up consumer prices. The airlines say that if they merge, they’ll provide better competition to United and Delta, the world’s two largest airlines.

usairways

Airports seek opportunity to support airline merger

The airports dominated by American Airlines and US Airways say they’ll be hurt if the carriers can’t merge.

The airports want to file a friend-of-the-court statement supporting the merger, which is the subject of a trial scheduled to start Nov. 25 in U.S. district court in Washington.

The request was filed Monday by Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Philadelphia, which operates of Philadelphia International Airport.

The U.S. Justice Department sued in August to block the merger, saying that the deal would limit competition and drive up consumer prices.

The airports said if they’re allowed to file a brief, they’ll show that blocking the merger would hurt domestic and international competition “to the detriment of the traveling public and labor, as well as to airports and their local communities.”

usairways

US Airways dealt setback in merger-lawsuit trial

A court-appointed official says American Airlines and US Airways shouldn’t get to know the identity of all the people that the government interviewed before trying to block the airlines’ proposed merger.

The airlines also want to know what those people told the Justice Department.

The court official, called a special master, recommended Thursday that the federal judge hearing the case reject the airlines’ request.

American and US Airways were close to completing their deal and creating the world’s biggest airline when the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit in August. The government says the merger will limit competition and lead to higher prices. A trial is scheduled to start Nov. 25 in Washington.

spirit1

Spirit Airlines Joins Phoenix Sky Harbor

Spirit Airlines announced today that it will begin operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on October 24. This news comes on the heels of the US Airways, now the New American, increasing the presence of the largest airline in the world in Phoenix and of Volaris Airlines announcing nonstop flights to Mexico starting October 19.

“Phoenix is open for business,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “Our economy continues to grow with more visitors and clients traveling to our city and investing in our region. America’s Friendliest Airport serves as a hub of economic growth for Phoenix and we welcome expanded flight options at Sky Harbor.”

Spirit will fly nonstop daily to Dallas/Fort Worth beginning October 24 and add daily service to Chicago O’Hare and Denver International beginning November 7.  DFW is currently served by American/US Airways with 14 daily flights; O’Hare is served by American/US Airways and United with 5 daily flights; Denver is served by US Airways, United, Southwest and Frontier with 24 flights per day.

“These additional flights are evidence that the city and the airport have weathered the tough economic times and are ready for growth,” Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos said. “With their strong presence in Latin America, we hope that these are the first of many domestic and international cities that Spirit will serve from Sky Harbor.”

Spirit Airlines is based in Miramar, Florida and allows customers to save money on travel by offering ultra low base fares with a range of optional services, allowing customers the freedom to choose the extras they value. Spirit’s all-Airbus fleet currently operates flights throughout the U.S., Latin America and Caribbean. The airline will move into Sky Harbor’s north concourse in Terminal 3.

“Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport fits Spirit’s growth strategy by continuing to take customers to the big cities they want to go to at an affordable price,” said Spirit’s Senior Director of Network Planning, Mark Kopczak.  “We look forward to serving even more travelers to and from the Phoenix area with Spirit’s ultra low fares and optional add-ons for a total price that’s tough to beat.”

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is among the top 10 busiest airports in the country, with over 1,200 daily nonstop flights to 100 destinations.

“We are delighted to welcome the airline into the Phoenix Sky Harbor family, and to offer passengers additional options to some of their favorite destinations,” said Phoenix Aviation Director, Danny Murphy.

AMR-US Airways

Shareholders OK US Airways -American merger

US Airways and American Airlines moved closer to creating the world’s biggest airline Friday, as US Airways shareholders overwhelmingly approved their proposed merger.

Shareholders of US Airways Group Inc. would get 28 percent of the shares in the combined company, with the rest going to creditors, employees and shareholders of American Airlines parent AMR Corp.

US Airways said that 132,273,780 shares were voted in favor of the merger while 257,757 shares were voted against it. Another 256,523 abstained.

The merger is still being reviewed by antitrust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice. It also needs the approval of American’s creditors the judge overseeing the airline’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Critics of the merger worry that it will reduce competition and drive up prices. Similar complaints arose around the mergers of Delta and Northwest in 2008, United and Continental in 2010, and Southwest and AirTran in 2011. Antitrust regulators allowed all those deals to go through.

Those other mergers changed the industry landscape, creating giants that made it harder for US Airways and American to compete, said Doug Parker, CEO of Tempe-based US Airways.

The merger “creates a fourth strong competitor to United, Delta and Southwest,” said Parker, who will become CEO of the combined carrier, which will keep the American Airlines name and be based in Texas.

If the American-US Airways deal goes through, those four airlines will control more than 80 percent of the domestic air-travel market.

 

usairways

How will airline merger impact Arizona?

The potential merger of US Airways and American Airways raised fears in Arizona that the combined airline would ditch its major hub in Phoenix, costing thousands of jobs in a region just now recovering from the housing collapse and recession that crippled the economy for years.

But when the merger was announced Thursday, city and airline officials both said those worries were overblown.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker said Sky Harbor International Airport and the vast majority of the employees based there aren’t going anywhere when the two companies merge. Instead, he said not only Sky Harbor, but the combined airlines’ seven other major hubs will stay.

That brought elation from officials in Phoenix, where 300 US Airways flights a day use 50 gates at the airport’s largest terminal. US Airways has about 9,000 employees in Arizona, most at Sky Harbor. Between 600-750 work at the company’s headquarters in nearby Tempe, and some of those are expected to go to Texas once the merger is complete, including Parker.

But John McDonald, the company’s vice president for corporate communications, said US Airways just signed a new five-year lease with a five-year option on its headquarters building and expects to keep hundreds of people working there.

American has a tiny presence by comparison, with just 20 departures a day using three gates in the smaller Terminal 3. Those operations will most likely move to the US Airways area of Terminal 4 when the merger is complete, airport spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher said.

Still, the loss of the headquarters is a blow, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, even though the city will see more international destinations added with the merger.

“It’s great news that the world’s largest airline will maintain Sky Harbor and Phoenix, Arizona as a hub. It good news for the business environment in our entire region,” Stanton told reporters at the airport. “But we’re not naive, we’re not naive, we know it’s disappointing to lose a corporate headquarters, particularly one that has the history of US Airways and before that America West. We went through the 90s together, we went through Sept. 11 together. Phoenix was a big part of the recovery of America West after that tragedy.”

America West Airlines, headed by Parker, merged with US Airways in 2005 and kept its corporate headquarters in Tempe. The company has struggled with combining its labor contracts, but McDonald said that’s never been something that affected customer service. That, he said, has become better, with better on-time and lower baggage loss rates.

Some airline analysts questioned Thursday whether the combined company could keep all eight hubs, placing Phoenix on the short list for eventual closure. But McDonald said that’s not the case, American’s Los Angeles hub complements Phoenix, just as several hubs in the eastern U.S. complement each other.

“When you have an airport like Phoenix that can have a massive western region to feed, out of Phoenix, you have an asset to bring to this equation,” McDonald said. “American Airlines has a lot of trans-continental out of Los Angeles, they also operate some Asian Pacific out of Los Angeles, with very little West coast feed into that hub.”

usairways

Report: AMR, US Airways boards meet Wednesday

Directors of American Airlines and US Airways reportedly plan to meet Wednesday to consider a merger.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that negotiators were still considering the makeup of the combined company’s board and an exact role for the CEO of American parent AMR Corp.

US Airways and AMR declined to comment.

The companies are trying to finish a deal before Friday, when a confidentiality agreement covering some AMR bondholders expires. That could result in public disclosure about negotiation details.

If the two carriers were to strike a deal, it would create the world’s biggest airline by passenger traffic, although United Continental Holdings Inc. would still be bigger if regional affiliates are counted.

AMR has been operating under bankruptcy protection since November 2011.

US Airways has pushed for months for a merger. AMR executives were initially reluctant, but the company’s bankruptcy creditors urged AMR to consider a merger that they could compare to an independent American Airlines.

Shares of US Airways Group Inc. fell 29 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.46.

usairways

Fuller planes help US Airways double profit

US Airways said net income doubled in the fourth quarter as its planes were fuller and it made more money off each passenger.

The airline on Wednesday reported a profit of $37 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $18 million, or 11 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items, net income was 26 cents per share, 7 cents higher than analyst forecasts, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billon.

Per-seat passenger revenue — a key performance indicator for airlines — rose 2.2 percent. Occupancy rose 2 percentage points to 83.9 percent.

US Airways is in merger talks with American Airlines, but didn’t address the talks in its earnings release.

Some have assumed that as the fifth-biggest U.S. airline, US Airways needs the American merger to survive. J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker wrote in a note to investors Wednesday that he disagrees.

“With 2012 margins just shy of Delta while topping those of Southwest and United, we find investor stand-alone pessimism to be significantly misplaced,” he wrote.

Shares of Tempe-based US Airways Group Inc. rose 30 cents, or 2 percent, to $15.15 in morning trading.

US Airways jet

American Airlines studies options with US Airways

Directors of American Airlines’ parent company likely won’t make a decision when they meet Wednesday to consider a possible merger with US Airways, even as momentum for a deal is building.

Investors have been bidding up US Airways’ stock price, and leaders of the two pilot unions agree on how to combine contracts, two developments that analysts say strengthen the case for a tie-up.

Still there could be a way to go. American parent AMR Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011, and US Airways Group Inc. have been talking about a potential merger since late summer but have not agreed on price, each side’s ownership share, and who would run the company, according to people familiar with the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

AMR CEO Thomas Horton raised expectations of a speedy outcome when he told employees last week that the company would decide “within a matter of weeks” whether it would be better to merge with smaller US Airways or remain independent.

That fueled speculation that AMR’s board would make a decision this week. Bruce Hicks, an AMR spokesman, tamped down the rumors Monday, saying, “I am not expecting any news regarding the review of strategic alternatives this week.”

There is no guarantee that American and US Airways will ever reach a friendly deal to create a single airline roughly the same size as United Airlines, currently the biggest, and larger than No. 2 Delta.

veterans

Advancing Arizona’s Heroes

This week, our nation took time to celebrate the enormous contributions and sacrifices of those who have served in our Armed Forces. Just in time for Veterans Day, the Arizona Chamber Foundation released its latest policy brief, Economic Opportunity for Arizona Veterans. This new report highlights the importance of veteran employment and outlines specific policy recommendations for Arizona.

Arizona is home to an estimated 76,000 Second Gulf War veterans. According to national unemployment numbers for August 2012, these veterans face an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent, compared to the national rate of 8.1 percent. These veterans serve as an untapped resource for Arizona employers – one that has the ability to significantly grow and help diversify Arizona’s economy.

Military service prepares veterans with work ethic, teamwork and leadership skills. There are clear economic opportunities and synergies between the talents veterans bring to the workforce and the needs of private industry. Yet many veterans continue to face obstacles when transitioning to civilian employment. As the report recognizes, it’s incumbent on business and elected leaders to harness this talent by:

1) Adopting best practices for hiring and retaining veterans

2) Implementing policies to  facilitate the transition from military to civilian life

3) Streamlining and clarifying the wealth of public, private and non-profit resources that are available

To that end, the Arizona Chamber has established the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee with a vision of making Arizona one of the most attractive states for veterans to live and work. The committee serves as a resource and connector for employers that are interested in helping veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. The committee also works to support public policies that aid in this transition.

The committee has created a resource toolkit to help veterans and employers navigate the wide array of resources available. Additional next steps in addressing this issue include:

1) Finalizing a specific policy proposal to allow relevant military experience to count toward the certification requirements for occupations requiring a professional license.

2) Developing a strategy for disseminating company best practices for hiring and retaining veterans, reservists and National Guardsmen.

3) Partnering with like-minded organizations and interested elected officials to provide meaningful connections between employers and veterans.

Media response to these efforts has been overwhelmingly positive. Yesterday’s edition of Arizona Illustrated featured Suzanne Kinney, executive director of the Foundation and Captain Craig Doyle, chairman of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, in a discussion on the report’s findings and the importance of this topic. The issue is gaining traction and the efforts of Arizona businesses are being recognized.

It’s important to acknowledge the cross-section of Arizona Chamber member companies that were interviewed for the Foundation’s report: Amazon, Intel, Magellan Health Services, Northern Arizona University, Raytheon, Swift Transportation, University of Phoenix, USAA, and Wells Fargo. These companies along with the Arizona Department of Veterans Services provided valuable insight regarding best practices for recruiting and retaining vets. Many other chamber member companies, such as US Airways with their nationally-recognized Honor Flight Network, are taking action to support veterans as well. A key goal of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee is to help other interested employers adopt proven strategies that will lead to more veterans successfully transitioning to civilian employment.

The Chamber also owes many thanks to Captain Craig Doyle for his leadership and continued service.
An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Captain Doyle recently returned from the Asian Pacific Theater, his third activation since September 11, 2001. While there, he was the first Naval Reserve Officer to serve as Commanding Officer of the Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka.  His mission included all operational, planning and logistical support for the Far East region. With both business and military leadership experience, Captain Doyle brings indispensable personal experience to this important endeavor.

We look forward to further advancing the mission of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee during the 2012 legislative session and continuing the recognition of this issue throughout the state. We will be working diligently to help more Arizona businesses implement proven programs to recruit, promote and retain veterans and to advance public policies that support veteran employment and entrepreneurship.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. http://www.azchamber.com/

US Airways Heritage

US Airways profits may exceed expectations

UUS Airways Group Inc. said on Wednesday that its flying capacity for the year will rise 2 percent, and an investor update suggested that its third-quarter profit will be bigger than Wall Street had been expecting.

US Airways has added flying capacity as it replaces old Boeing 737s with slightly larger Airbus A321s. It also completed 99.6 percent of its scheduled flights in September, which also boosts flying capacity.

For the third quarter, which ended on Sunday, the airline’s costs came in lower than expected, including a slightly lower price for fuel.

JPMorgan analyst Jamie Baker wrote that the results suggest US Airways will report a bigger-than-expected profit for the quarter. He wrote that the guidance suggests a profit of 90 cents per share, versus a consensus by a survey of analysts for 74 cents per share.

Baker wrote that some of the costs are simply shifting into the fourth quarter. That’s likely to produce a loss or maybe a break-even quarter, he wrote.

For the quarter, US Airways traffic rose 2.7 percent. Flying capacity rose 3 percent. Because the airline added more seats than passengers, its planes weren’t quite as full. Occupancy fell 0.2 percentage points to 85.8 percent.

Per-seat passenger revenue for September was flat compared to September 2011, the airline said.

For September, traffic rose 2 percent. Capacity rose 1.1 percent. That pushed occupancy up 0.7 percentage points, to 84 percent.

Shares of US Airways Group Inc., based in Tempe, jumped 99 cents, or 9.1 percent, to $11.87 in midday trading. They’ve traded between $3.96 and $14.51 over the past year, boosted by the airline’s improving financial prospects and its ongoing efforts to merge with American Airlines.

usairways

American, US Airways move one step closer to merger

American Airlines and US Airways are one step closer to a potential merger.

The companies said Friday they have started confidential merger talks. But a deal is still far from reality.

“It does not mean we are merging — it simply means we have agreed to work together to discuss and analyze a potential merger,” US Airways CEO Doug Parker said in a letter to employees Friday.

Such a merger would put the combined airline on par with the world’s largest — United Continental Holdings Inc. — and the slightly smaller Delta Air Lines. Its position as the No. 1 or No. 2 airline in the world, based on how many miles its passengers fly, would depend on how many routes anti-trust regulators force the combined airline to abandon.

Many industry experts say the only way American and US Airways can compete with larger rivals is by merging their strengths. US Airways would gain American’s lucrative international routes while American’s larger hubs would be fed passengers from US Airways’ network in smaller U.S. cities.

For passengers, a merger would have no immediate impact. But a year or two into the combination, changes would ramp up: Frequent flier programs would merge, fares could rise, planes would take on American Airlines’ colors and glitches could surface as their reservation systems integrate.

Parker has been pushing for a merger since American’s parent company, AMR Corp., entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29, 2011. American Airlines CEO Tom Horton has said his airline is weighing several options, including remaining independent or merging with one of several airlines, including US Airways Group Inc.

One wildcard: British Airways’ parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group, which confirmed Friday that it too had signed a non-disclosure agreement with American. Foreign investors are prohibited from owning more than 25 percent of a U.S. airline but a cash infusion from British Airways could help American remain independent or give Horton enough leverage so his leadership team can call the shots in a merger with US Airways.

AMR still has to work itself through the bankruptcy process. It has exclusive rights until Dec. 28 to present the court and its creditors with an exit plan. Government regulators would have to sign off on any merger and then the process of actually combining operations could take years.

US Airways previously said the combined airline would keep the American name and American’s participation in the OneWorld alliance, which includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and eight other carriers. If past mergers are any indication, frequent flier miles would ultimately be merged into American’s AAdvantage program.

In the past decade, the airline industry has seen the combinations of Delta with Northwest, United with Continental and Southwest Airlines Co. with AirTran. Further consolidation is likely to mean higher airfares for passengers. The price of a domestic round-trip flight has climbed nearly 20 percent, when adjusted for inflation, over the last 10 year according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

American currently serves about 250 cities in more than 40 countries with 3,400 daily flights. US Airways has 200 destinations in 28 countries with 3,200 daily flights. There is some overlap. But by joining forces the combined airline becomes more attractive to companies seeking to fly employees around the globe with few connections.

US Airways passengers would gain access to American’s international destinations, particularly London and Latin America. American’s passengers would be able to better connect to smaller U.S. cities that US Airways serves.

The combined carrier would have considerable presence in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, N.C., Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles. It is unclear how many of those cities will survive the merger. In past mergers, airline executives have promised not to close any hubs but have gone ahead and dramatically reduced service in once-key cities.

The two airlines currently have a combined 97,000 employees, although American has been quickly shrinking its payroll as it moves through restructuring in bankruptcy court. Past airline mergers have led to job losses.

US Airways has said that it would move its headquarters from Tempe, Ariz. to American’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

Nothing in the non-disclosure agreement with US Airways prevents American from discussing a merger with another airline. It just can’t disclose details of its US Airways merger talks with a third party. In a note to American Airlines managers Friday morning about US Airways, the airlines said “other parties have also signed confidentiality agreements.”

International Airlines Group, parent of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, is one of those parties, British Airways spokeswoman Caroline Titmuss said Friday. The two airlines already have a joint business agreement for flights across the Atlantic Ocean and were founding members of the OneWorld frequent flier alliance.

The agreement with British Airways could be a sign that American is lining up the financing to remain independent, said Ray Neidl, an airline specialist with the Maxim Group.

American spokesman Bruce Hicks wouldn’t say if any other airlines had signed one.

The CEOs of JetBlue Airways Corp. and Alaska Air Group Inc. have both publically said they are not interested in a merger with American. JetBlue spokeswoman Alison Croyle said Friday that the airline has not signed a non-disclosure agreement with American.

Virgin America and Frontier Airlines, part of Republic Airways Holdings Inc., have also been discussed as merger partners but representatives from the airlines have declined to comment, saying it was just speculation.

Regardless, US Airways is the most-likely partner for a merger.

“I don’t think there’s really any other realistic prospect out there for American,” said Savanthi Syth, an airlines analyst with Raymond James.

The airlines warned in a joint press release that they will not “provide any further announcements regarding the status of any such discussions unless” a merger is ready to be announced or if the talks fall apart.

US Airways’ stock closed Friday at $10.66, up 2.5 percent. Shares in the company have more than doubled since AMR filed for bankruptcy, driven up by merger speculation.

AMR-US Airways

What an American-US Airways merger means to you

While American Airlines and US Airways have started merger discussions, it would be several months — if not years — before passengers see any real impact.

Passengers with existing tickets on American or US Airways — and members of both frequent flier programs — shouldn’t fret. No changes will come anytime soon.

Assuming quick merger negotiations, American’s parent company, AMR Corp., would still have to work its way through the bankruptcy process. Then the Department of Transportation and the Justice Department would have to sign off on it. Finally, once a deal closes, the new company could operate two separate airlines for a number of years.

If the airlines finally merge, here’s what passengers can expect:

AIRFARE

In the past decade, the airline industry has seen the combinations of Delta with Northwest, United with Continental and Southwest Airlines Co. with AirTran. Further consolidation is likely to raise airfares. The price of a domestic round-trip flight has climbed nearly 20 percent, when adjusted for inflation, over the last 10 years, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The merger would give a combined American and US Airways Group Inc. the ability to increase fares. United, Delta and Southwest would be likely to follow.

FREQUENT FLIER MILES

Your miles would be safe. Eventually, the two airlines would merge the miles into one program. Before then, elite status from one airline would likely be honored on the other and passengers would be able to transfer miles from one program to another. That puts the occasional traveler closer to rewards.

The merged carrier would continue American’s participation in the OneWorld alliance, which was founded by American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Today, it has 12 airlines including Finnair, Mexicana and Japan Airlines. US Airways would leave the Star Alliance, which includes rival United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada and 24 other airlines. Alliances allow passengers to earn and redeem miles on partner airlines.

DESTINATIONS

A key reason for merging is to link both airlines’ networks, creating a system on par with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, part of United Continental Holdings Inc. American currently serves about 250 cities in more than 40 countries with 3,400 daily flights. US Airways has 200 destinations in 28 countries with 3,200 daily flights. There is some overlap. But by joining forces the combined airline would become more attractive to companies seeking to fly employees around the globe with few connections.

US Airways passengers would gain access to American’s international destinations, particularly London and Latin America. American’s passengers would be able to better connect to smaller U.S. cities that US Airways serves.

The combined carrier would have considerable presence in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, N.C., Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles. It is unclear how many of those cities would survive the merger. In past mergers, airlines have promised not to close any hubs but have gone ahead and dramatically reduced service in once-key cities.

PASSENGER CONFUSION

The merger of two airlines often means confusion and hassle for customers. Which terminal or ticket counter do they go to for check in? If there is a problem with a ticket, which company should they call? For a while, United and Continental were issuing two confirmation numbers for each ticket so either airline’s staff could make changes. Problems with the integration of their frequent flier programs angered many loyal road warriors. It could be months, if not years, until all American and US Airways planes get a uniform paint job.

“These things are never as seamless as they seem,” said Thomas Lawton, a professor of business administration at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of business. “There will probably be some initial teething problems.”

frequent flier miles - airline tickets to fulfill wishes

Frequent Flier Miles Can Help Grant Nearly 100 Wishes This Summer

The lazy days of summer may have begun for some of us, but Make-A-Wish Arizona is gearing up for one of the busiest wish granting summers on record…and your frequent flier miles can help!

Nearly 100 Arizona children battling life-threatening medical conditions will have their one true wish granted before the new school year begins, and the majority of these wishes require air travel. Some of those trips include a wish to meet the Pope, a wish to meet President Barack Obama, and a wish to see the turtles in the Galapagos Islands.

Donating frequent flier miles through the foundation’s Wishes in Flight program is easy – and the miles never expire once they’ve been donated.

“We are asking travelers to donate airline miles which we will use to help grant wishes of children who need to travel to reach their wish destinations,” said Elizabeth Reich, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “When you donate airline miles you free up other resources that can be used to grant wishes. An added benefit is that most airlines also waive baggage fees when miles are donated. Baggage fees add significant costs to wishes. ”

Many major airlines based in the United States allow members of their frequent flier programs to donate airline miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona If you have frequent flier miles with Delta, US Airways, Continental, or United, you hold the ticket to a child’s wishSM.

Every traveler can be part of a life-affirming wish. All it takes is a simple airline miles donation.

To donate frequent flier miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona, visit www.wishaz.org and click on Ways to Help or call 602-343-9437 to donate over the phone. If don’t have miles to donate but you’d still like to support the foundation, you can make a monetary donation by visiting www.wishaz.org

50 Largest Employers in Arizona - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

50 Largest Employers In Arizona

These are the 50 largest employers in Arizona, including public and privately held companies and not-for-profit corporations, ranked by the number of employees based on full-time equivalents of 40 hours per week and based on industry research.


50 Largest Employers in Arizona

Walmart Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 30,634
Employment change since 2010: Added about 300 jobs
2010 revenue: $421.8 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.
Phone: (479) 273-4000
Website: www.walmart.com

Banner Health

Arizona employees in 2011: 28,353
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1911
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 747-4000
Website: www.bannerhealth.com

Wells Fargo & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 14,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $93.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1852
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 411-4932
Website: www.wellsfargo.com

Bank of America Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 13,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,000 jobs
2010 revenue: $150.5 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1904
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Phone: (800) 944-0404
Website: www.bankofamerica.com

McDonald’s Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 12,770
Employment change since 2010: Added about 955 jobs
2010 revenue: $22.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1955
Headquarters: Oakbrook, Ill.
Phone: (800) 244-6227
Website: www.mcdonalds.com

Apollo Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 460 jobs
2010 revenue: $4.9 billion
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1973
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (480) 966-5394
Website: www.apollogrp.edu

Kroger Co. *

Arizona employees in 2011: About 12,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 400 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.7 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1883
Headquarters: Cincinnati
Phone: (623) 936-2100
Website: www.frysfood.com
* Includes Fry’s Food Stores and Fry’s Marketplace

Raytheon Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 11,500
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $25.2 billion
Company’s focus: Missile manufacturing
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Phone: (520) 794-3000
Website: www.raytheon.com

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 10,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 600 jobs
2010 revenue: $102.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1799
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (602) 221-2900
Website: www.chase.com

Honeywell International Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,716
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 700 jobs
2010 revenue: $33.4 billion
Company’s focus: Aerospace manufacturing
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.
Phone: (602) 231-1000
Website: www.honeywell.com

Intel Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,700
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $43.6 billion
Company’s focus: Semiconductor manufacturing
Year founded: 1968
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Phone: (480) 554-8080
Website: www.intel.com

Target Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 9,300
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $65.4 billion
Company’s focus: Discount retailer
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Phone: (612) 304-6073
Website: www.target.com

US Airways

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,926
Employment change since 2010: Added about 150 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.9 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1981
Headquarters: Tempe
Phone: (480) 693-0800
Website: www.usairways.com

Catholic Healthcare West

Arizona employees in 2011: 8,291
Employment change since 2010: Added about 500 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1986
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (602) 406-3000
Website: www.chw.edu

Home Depot Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 8,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 350 jobs
2010 revenue: $66.2 billion
Company’s focus: Home improvement
Year founded: 1978
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (714) 940-3500
Website: www.homedepot.com

Walgreen Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,750
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $63.3 billion
Company’s focus: Retail drugstores
Year founded: 1901
Headquarters: Deerfield, Ill.
Phone: (847) 940-2500
Website: www.walgreens.com

Safeway Stores Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,500
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $41.1 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1926
Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
Phone: (480) 894-4100
Website: www.safeway.com

American Express Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 7,465
Employment change since 2010: Added about 200 jobs
2010 revenue: $30.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1850
Headquarters: New York
Phone: (623) 492-7474
Website: www.americanexpress.com

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 7,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 935 jobs
2010 revenue: $19 billion
Company’s focus: Mining
Year founded: 1834
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 366-7323
Website: www.fcx.com

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,900
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 earnings: $330.4 million
Company’s focus: Electric utility
Year founded: 1985
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 250-1000
Website: www.pinnaclewest.com

Bashas’ Supermarkets

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,641
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 1,800 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Grocery stores
Year founded: 1932
Headquarters: Chandler
Phone: (480) 895-9350
Website: www.bashas.com

Scottsdale Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: 6,556
Employment change since 2010: Added about 55 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 882-4000
Website: www.shc.org

UA Healthcare

Arizona employees in 2011: About 6,000
Employment change since 2010: Added about 2,050 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 694-7737
Website: www.u.arizona.edu

Circle K Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 590 jobs
2010 revenue: $16.4 billion
Company’s focus: Convenience stores
Year founded: 1951
Headquarters: Laval, QC, Canada
Phone: (602) 728-8000
Website: www.CircleK.com

General Dynamics

Arizona employees in 2011: 5,026
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,810 jobs
2010 revenue: $32.5 billion
Company’s focus: Defense, communications
Year founded: 1952
Headquarters: Falls Church, Va.
Phone: (480) 441-3033
Website: www.generaldynamics.com

Boeing Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,800
Employment change since 2010: Added about 100 jobs
2010 revenue: $64.3 billion
Company’s focus: Aircraft manufacturing
Year founded: 1916
Headquarters: Chicago
Phone: (480) 891-3000
Website: www.boeing.com

Carondelet Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,690
Employment change since 2010: Added about 124 jobs
2010 revenue: About $601 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1880
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 872-3000
Website: www.carondelet.org

Mayo Foundation

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 138 jobs
2010 revenue: $7.9 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1864
Headquarters: Rochester, Minn.
Phone: (480) 301-8000
Website: www.mayo.edu

CVS Caremark Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,500
Employment change since 2010: Added about 50 jobs
2010 revenue: $96.4 billion
Company’s focus: Pharmaceutical services
Year founded: 1993
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (615) 743-6600
Website: www.caremark.com

Salt River Project

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,346
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 392 jobs
2010 revenue: $2.7 billion
Company’s focus: Utility supplier
Year founded: 1903
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 236-5900
Website: www.srpnet.com

Costco Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,151
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $76.2 billion
Company’s focus: Membership discount stores
Year founded: 1976
Headquarters: Issaquah, Wash.
Phone: (602) 293-5007
Website: www.costco.com

Abrazo Health Care *

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,089
Employment change since 2010: Added about 951 jobs
2010 revenue: $1.5 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Nashville
Phone: (602) 674-1400
Website: www.abrazohealth.com
* A division of Vanguard Health Systems

Albertsons Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 4,000
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 450 jobs
2010 revenue: $5.9 billion
Company’s focus: Grocery and drug stores
Year founded: 1939
Headquarters: Boise, ID
Phone: (602) 382-5300
Website: www.albertsons.com

FedEx Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,918
Employment change since 2010: Added about 330 jobs
2010 revenue: $34.7 billion
Company’s focus: Delivery, copy centers
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn.
Phone: (866) 477-7529
Website: www.fedex.com

Southwest Airlines Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,857
Employment change since 2010: Added about 259 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.1 billion
Company’s focus: Airline
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Dallas
Phone: (602) 304-3983
Website: www.southwest.com

Marriott International

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,522
Employment change since 2010: Added about 722 jobs
2010 revenue: $11.7 billion
Company’s focus: Resorts and hotels
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Phone: (301) 380-3000
Website:  www.marriott.com

Qwest Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,200
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 190 jobs
2010 revenue: $12.3 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1896
Headquarters: Denver
Phone: (800) 244-1111
Website: www.Qwest.com

United Parcel Service

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,170
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 48 jobs
2010 revenue: $49.5 billion
Company’s focus: Package delivery
Year founded: 1907
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (888) 967-5877
Website: www.ups.com

John C. Lincoln Health Network

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,166
Employment change since 2010: Added about 539 jobs
2010 revenue: $551 million
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1927
Headquarters:  Phoenix
Phone: (602) 870-943-2381
Website: www.jcl.com

USAA

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,045
Employment change since 2010: Added about 74 jobs
2010 revenue: $17.9 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1922
Headquarters: San Antonio
Phone: (800) 531-8111
Website: www.usaa.com

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 3,001
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.2 billion
Company’s focus: Financial services
Year founded: 1974
Headquarters: San Francisco
Phone: (800) 435-4000
Website: www.schwab.com

Freescale Semiconductor

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $4.5 billion
Company’s focus: Microchip manufacturing
Year founded: 1953
Headquarters: Austin
Phone: (512) 895-2000
Website: www.freescale.com

IBM Corp.

Arizona employees in 2011: About 3,000
Employment change since 2010: Stayed about even
2010 revenue: $95.8 billion
Company’s focus: Technology services
Year founded: 1924
Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.
Phone: (800) 426-4968
Web site: www.us.ibm.com

Cox Communications Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,997
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 67 jobs
2010 revenue: $9.1 billion
Company’s focus: Telecommunications
Year founded: 1962
Headquarters: Atlanta
Phone: (623) 594-0505
Website: www.cox.com

TMC HealthCare

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,966
Employment change since 2010: Lost about 84 jobs
2010 revenue: Unavailable
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1943
Headquarters: Tucson
Phone: (520) 327-5461
Website: www.tmcaz.com

Verizon Wireless

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,901
Employment change since 2010: Added about 201 jobs
2010 revenue: $63.4 billion
Company’s focus: Wireless provider
Year founded: 1984
Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J.
phone: (480) 763-6300
Website: www.verizonwireless.com

Cigna HealthCare of AZ

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,865
Employment change since 2010: Added about 401 jobs
2010 revenue: $21.3 billion
Company’s focus: Health care
Year founded: 1972
Headquarters: Philadelphia
Phone: (602) 942-4462
Website: www.cigna.com

Grand Canyon University

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,818
Employment change since 2010: Added about 537 jobs
2010 revenue: $385.8 million
Company’s focus: Educational services
Year founded: 1949
Headquarters: Phoenix
Phone: (602) 639-7500
Website: www.gcu.edu

Starbucks Coffee Co.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,783
Employment change since 2010: Added about 1,003 jobs
2010 revenue: $10.7 billion
Company’s focus: Food service
Year founded: 1971
Headquarters: Seattle
Phone: (602) 340-0455
Website: www.starbucks.com

Go Daddy Group Inc.

Arizona employees in 2011: 2,754
Employment change since 2010: Added about 441 jobs
2010 revenue: $741.2 million
Company’s focus: Internet services/technology
Year founded: 1997
Headquarters: Scottsdale
Phone: (480) 505-8800
Website: www.GoDaddy.com

These are the state’s 5 largest government employers, ranked by the number of employees.

State of Arizona: About 49,800 employees
City of Phoenix: About 15,100 employees
Maricopa County: 12,792 employees
Arizona State University: 11,185 employees
Mesa Public Schools: 8,376 employees

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012

First Press Fine Wine Auction

First Press Fine Wine Auction Benefits KJZZ Youth Media Project

The 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction will benefit the KJZZ Youth Media Project. All proceeds from the auction go to the youth media program that allows KJZZ reporters to mentor high school students in the areas of journalism and reporting.

The 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction

First Press Fine Wine AuctionThe 10th Annual First Press Fine Wine Auction, presented by Molina Jewelers, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.

More than 30 wineries are scheduled to participate, including the Robert Craig Winery from Napa Valley. President Robert Craig will serve as this year’s honorary chair, and Peter Sagal, the voice of the popular NPR game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,” will be the evening’s host presented by National Bank of Arizona.

The evening will have live entertainment by Alice Tatum and the Alice Tatum Band, a gourmet five-course meal and a high-end live auction of rare vintages, culinary experiences and vacation packages.

But the most important part of the evening will be about the fundraising. Funds raised from the auction will benefit Friends of Public Radio of Arizona and the KJZZ Youth Media Project. Last year, the First Press Fine Wine Auction raised more than $170,000 for their benefiting organizations.

The KJZZ Youth Media Project

The KJZZ Youth Media Project is an educational outreach program designed to mentor “at risk” youths in the areas of broadcast journalism and digital media production. The program was started in 2007 and initially worked with 14 students from South Mountain High School. This year the program is expanding to approximately 20 students from all high schools who qualify.

The students complete an application and go through a verbal interview process to see if they can fit the six-month core curriculum into their time frame. The projects curriculum consists of elements developed by the Radio Television National Association.

“[The] kids will work in all aspects of digital media,” says Louis Stanley, the executive director of Friends of Public Radio Arizona. “Then they will specialize and continue to work on content development, while also helping to mentor new kids starting the program.”

The ultimate success of the students is what the program is all about. Stanley shares a success story from Ann Miles, an employee at the South Mountain High School Communications department.

“Ann Miles said, ‘Many of my students who a participate in the KJZZ Mentorship program at South Mountain have gone on to college to study journalism. They return to tell me how much the experience with KJZZ not only prepared them for college journalism classes, but they also feel that they are ahead of their peers,’ ” Stanley says.

KJZZ’s Youth Media Project

[stextbox id="info" caption="What To Know If You Go:"]
The 10th Annual First Press Wine Auction
When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Where: Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
Tickets: $250 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10. Guests seeking guaranteed table seating with a vintner and marketing exposure can purchase a table sponsorship starting at $5,000.
[/stextbox]

 

US Airways jet

U.S. Airways Plans To Fill 500 Jobs In 2011

US Airways has announced plans to hire 500 pilots and flight attendants next year, in order to fill anticipated job openings due to attrition and retirement.

The company announced today that the 500 would come from the ranks of employees currently on furlough, as well as new hires. The majority of the returning and new employees will be on the job by July.

“Our crew member hiring needs are being driven primarily by planned retirements and attrition, as well as international growth,” said US Airways President Scott Kirby. “Today’s announcement is consistent with our previously announced plan to keep our domestic capacity flat in 2011, while growing international capacity by 8 percent.”

The carrier plans to fill 420 flight attendant positions and 80 pilot positions in 2011. US Airways will first offer the positions to employees currently on furlough. Once that process is completed, the airline will begin hiring new employees.

After the recall, US Airways said it will have no flight attendants on furlough, and may have up to 100 pilots remaining on furlough. When the recall and new hire process is complete, the airline said it will have approximately 4,970 active pilots and 7,300 active flight attendants.

Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of US Airways

CEO Series: Doug Parker

Doug Parker
Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: US Airways

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My first job was as a bagger at a Kroger store in Michigan. I started part-time the day I turned 16, but then went full-time in the summer the day after school got out. I did basic bagger duties — bagging groceries, collecting carts from the parking lot, etc. While most people preferred to stay inside and bag, I was always quick to volunteer to get carts, as I preferred the more physical work. It was a good experience, primarily because it taught me a work ethic at an early age. It helped me see what life was like in the real world and gave me a true appreciation of the value of putting in an honest day’s work. I also learned that if you put the cookies on the bottom of the bag, customers get upset.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job in the industry was a financial analyst at American Airlines in 1986. I took this entry-level position straight out of business school in 1986. It was a great first job because American hired a lot of MBAs into finance, so it was both easy to get acclimated with other new hires and also a great place to learn the industry from a lot of talented professionals who had been in the business for a while. I also liked beginning in finance, because it allowed me to learn a little bit about the entire company and how it all fit together versus learning a lot about one certain area. That broad scope was helpful in allowing me to understand how the airline business worked in a relatively short period of time.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
Three dollars an hour at Kroger and $34,000 at AA.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
I have had a number of great bosses over my career and I learned a lot from each of them. If I had to choose a single mentor in our industry though, I’d pick a person I never worked for, Herb Kelleher of Southwest (Airlines). I, like many people, have admired how Herb has built Southwest to be a successful airline with a true team spirit and camaraderie that other airlines haven’t ever been able to accomplish. I like how he has done so by communicating with his employees and making sure not to take himself too seriously. Over the past seven or eight years, I’ve gotten to know Herb well through industry associations, and whenever we’re together, I work very hard to observe what he does and how he thinks about situations – it’s served me well and I’m thankful that he’s given me that opportunity

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
I would tell them that this is a great industry because virtually every management discipline is important and valued. Marketing is important because it’s a customer service business; operations is obviously important because there is arguably no more complex a series of operating issues than at an airline; finance is important because the business is so capital intensive; maintenance is essentially a very complex manufacturing organization, etc., etc. As a result, I think we have areas for everyone to make a real difference, which is not true of most industries. So I always recommend that unless people really know what they want to do, they should start in an area where they can learn a little about the entire company and then over time gravitate to the area they find the most interesting. I also advise them that this business is not for the faint of heart; it’s very dynamic and a bit like a roller coaster ride — but if you like action, change and a lot of moving parts (like most of us here do), you’ll love it.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I’m not sure since I’ve never worked outside of this industry, but my guess is I’d be doing something similar in a different industry. While I love airlines, I’m not the CEO because I know so much about this business — there are many people in our company who know much more about airlines and airplanes than I do. Most of what I do is find the best people I possibly can and make sure they are engaged and motivated and working together as a team to accomplish our collective objectives. It’s that team-building piece that I enjoy, and I imagine if I weren’t here, I’d be somewhere else where those skills were important.

gas

Fueling Change: Higher Energy Costs Are Forcing Valley Companies To Look For Alternatives

Fueling Change

Higher energy costs are forcing Valley companies to look for alternatives

By Don Harris
From the neighborhood car wash to a corporate behemoth such as US Airways, rising energy costs are forcing Valley businesses to search for alternatives to relieve the pressure on their bottom lines.

Arizona Business Magazine, September 2008

On a warm weekend morning in the Phoenix area, a bored but concerned car wash attendant asks the only motorist who pulls up for a cleaning: “Where is everybody?” He then answers his own question: “People aren’t driving as much and their cars aren’t getting as dirty.”

From airlines to car washes to supermarket chains, record-high gas prices are taking their toll, causing businesses to implement strategies aimed at trimming expenses and saving energy.

Alternatives, ranging from solar to wind to biodiesel, are becoming more attractive and cost-effective as utility bills and prices at the pump continue to squeeze the bottom line.

While US Airways made major news when it announced a broad range of steps to cut costs and generate revenue, the airline is by no means alone in its actions. Bashas’ Family of Stores is an example of supermarkets that are feeling the pinch of higher diesel fuel prices, and the trucking industry reports some haulers are considering dropping customers who are in outlying areas.

Even car washes, which depend entirely on customers’ driving habits, are seeing a decline in business. Brian O’Connor, owner of Arizona Auto Wash, with operations throughout the Valley and in Sedona, says his customers are coming in less frequently.

“Instead of once a week, maybe we see them every other week,” O’Connor says. “People are so sick of putting money into their cars. They’re changing oil every 10,000 miles instead of 3,000 miles.”

O’Connor and other gas retailers are victims of what he calls a double whammy. Retailers get 8-to-10-cents per gallon, regardless of the price. Back when gas was $1 a gallon, that was a 10 percent profit. At $4 a gallon, that’s only 2.5 percent.

In addition to hiking the air-conditioning a degree or so, O’Connor has employees check equipment regularly for leaky hose bibs and broken sprinkler heads to conserve water.

Conservation, whether of water, fuel or energy, comes in many forms. For example, there’s solar power. Leah Bushman of Dependable Solar Products in Tempe, acknowledges that businesses, in particular home builders, don’t opt for solar units because of the cost.

“They want to know how is it going to affect their pocketbook, what is the return on investment,” she says.

She tells of a California builder who found that equipping homes with solar units added $18,000 to the cost, even after rebates and incentives. But, those solar homes sold much faster than others in the development.

In addition, a “green” architect in the Valley is seeing more interest in solar energy, Bushman says. “Why? Because more people are aware that we have an energy crisis on our hands,” she says. “We don’t have cheap oil anymore, but we do have the solar technology and the sunshine.”

At Southwest Windpower in Flagstaff, Miriam Robbins, marketing director, says any business could benefit from the company’s system, which is installed directly into the electric grid and does not need batteries or additional backup. The cost of most systems, including installation, ranges from $12,000 to $18,000. Rebates are available.

“The amount of power you get depends on wind speed,” she says. “Larger retailers may be interested to not only help offset electric costs, but also to make it more of a green statement. It can be installed on top of a light pole in a parking lot.”

Rick Katt, an owner of AZ BioDiesel in the Valley, says any business with a large fleet of trucks that runs on diesel should consider biofuel.

“No modification to your vehicle is needed,” he says. “It’s 80 percent vegetable oil, your motor runs cooler in hot weather and it’s cheaper than regular diesel by about 50 to 75 cents a gallon. And it’s better for the environment.”

Kristy Nied, director of communications for Bashas’, says the soaring price of diesel fuel has made it even more difficult for the company to operate in a cost-efficient manner.

“We rely on diesel fuel for our fleet of 97, over-the-road, 18-wheelers that deliver groceries to our stores throughout the state,” she says.

Recently, Bashas’ installed a device on its diesel trucks and eight other trucks that reduces fuel consumption and emissions.

“We’re saving enough fuel to run our entire fleet for a week,” Nied says. “We’ve also achieved a 32 percent reduction in particulate emissions.”

Bashas’ is testing a work-at-home program for certain employees, rewarding those who carpool with gifts ranging from duffel bags to vacations, and giving employees who ride public buses for two months a $25 gift card for store items.

“We’ve seen the number of bus riders go up because of gas prices,” Nied says.

A business decision closely related to the price of gas was the discontinuation of Bashas’ “Groceries on the Go” service.

“The cost of fuel made it extremely difficult for us to offer delivery service at a reasonable fee,” Nied says.

During the hot summer months, Bashas’ encouraged stores to set thermostats 2 degrees higher than normal. The grocery chain also placed nightshades on open freezer cases to reduce energy consumption, and installed energy-efficient lighting in more than one-third of the stores. The goal is to retrofit the remaining stores by the end of next year, Nied says.

To cope with rising fuel costs, US Airways has plans to cut as many as 2,000 jobs and started charging passengers more for items such as drinks, choice seats and checked bags. In the second quarter, the carrier lost $567 million, even though revenue rose 3 percent to $3.26 billion. But that revenue was eaten up by fuel costs. A year ago, the company reported a profit of $263 million.

In announcing US Airways’ second quarter earnings, company Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said he expects the new fees to add $500 million to the airline’s coffers. However, that’s less than half of the $1.1 billion the company paid for fuel in the second quarter.

Industry sources estimate fuel costs for airlines have increased 80 percent over a year ago. Valerie Wunder, associate manager of media relations for US Airways, says the airline is estimating its fuel costs to be $2 billion more than last year.

She explains other moves to save fuel. They include replacing all service carts with ones that are 12 pounds lighter and, in the cockpits, replacing paper manuals with electronic flight bags and maintenance logbooks to remove about 100 pounds of weight on each flight.

“Our fuel-hedging program and fuel-conservation measures such as single-engine taxi, which saves an estimated 5.2 million gallons of fuel annually, and fuel-conserving winglets, which reduces drag and saves approximately 1 million gallons of jet fuel, also help us conserve fuel,” Wunder says.

Karen Rasmussen, president and CEO of the Arizona Trucking Association, says fuel prices led to a record number of trucker bankruptcies nationally in the first quarter of the year. The association has 353 members, including UPS, Bashas’ and Safeway.

“Truckers are struggling,” she says. “They’re doing everything in their power to reduce fuel consumption, such as limiting idle time and keeping tires properly inflated. But, when it’s 113 degrees and they’re in their sleeper cab taking a required break, they have to keep the A/C going.”

In many cases, truckers are installing governors to limit speed or have instituted a companywide policy of keeping speeds between 58 and 62 mph.

“Reducing speed reduces fuel use,” Rasmussen says. “Many companies are looking at markets or customers they won’t serve as part of an overall business plan. They’re sticking with their best customers, the ones that pay their bills on time.”Cover September 2008:  Fueing Change

Fuel formerly was the second highest cost of doing business next to labor.

“Now, it’s the highest in many cases,” Rasmussen says.

The outlook?

“There’s not much to indicate we will get an improvement in fuel prices,” Rasmussen says.

Arizona Business magazine September 2008 “There are too many things on the global horizon indicating we will continue to have shortages of distillate, which is what diesel fuel is made from. There is a huge increase in demand overseas.”

Part of the problem is the weak dollar. U.S. firms are exporting more diesel fuel than ever.

“They can sell it for more overseas,” Rasmussen says. “Wouldn’t you?”

www.bashas.com
www.usairways.com
www.dependablesolarproducts.com
www.windenergy.com
www.azbiodiesel.com
www.arizonatrucking.com

branding - AZ Business Magazine April 2008

Branding: The Mark Of Excellence

Companies need to build trust to build a successful brand

Great brands are made, not born. Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to build the recognition and trust necessary to create an indelible brand for a product or company.

“Really and truly that is what a brand is — trust,” says Nancy Stephens, an associate professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “When I see your brand mark on your service or your product, that tells me, ‘Yes, I know that company, I’ve had great experiences there every time, I know I can trust it. If it’s different, I don’t know if I can trust it, but maybe I can give it a try and I’ll see if I can.’”

The Valley is home to major companies that have dealt with significant branding issues over the last decade. The first, and most high profile, came about as the result of America West Airlines’ merger with US Airways in 2005. Almost overnight, a brand that had been ubiquitous in Arizona disappeared.

“It was a difficult decision to give up the America West name for us, because it was just so well-known and, we’d like to think, well-loved within the Valley and also certain communities like Las Vegas where we have another hub,” says Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for US Airways.

Eventually, of course, America West took on the US Airways name because company executives felt it better captured the more national and global direction the airliner was heading toward. Not unexpectedly, the name change created confusion among customers.

“We had logistical issues,” Mohr says. “US Airways had their ticket terminals in Terminal 2 in (Sky Harbor International Airport) and America West had theirs in Terminal 4. For some flights, you had to go to Terminal 2, for some you needed to come to Terminal 4. And then we had two separate ticket counters because there were two separate reservation systems at the airline. That could be rather confusing and frustrating to a customer.”

In the end, Stephens says the test for any company re-branding itself is how customers will react — and how the company will respond.

“(Changing a brand) is not an ideal thing to do and it’s an expensive thing to do because you’re going to have to send a message to a very crowded market that says, ‘We were that, now we’re this,’ ” she says. “I would not hammer with the media money until you have the experience down right, because then you get killed. Because if you say, ‘We’re still the same great company and we really care about you, and it’s going to be efficient and our employees are going to be very nice to you,’ and it’s not that way, then all your media money works against you.”

Another longtime Arizona company that is in the process of re-branding itself is the former Phelps Dodge. Louisiana-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold acquired Phelps Dodge in 2006. Despite the radical name change, Stephens says Freeport-McMoRan has different branding challenges than those faced by a retail customer-fueled corporation. Freeport-McMoran is a business-to-business company, but it still has constituents in the form of suppliers, buyers, investors and even the communities in which the old Phelps Dodge made its mark.

Another branding challenge companies’ face is when they take steps to change the look or even the name of a product. Locally, the Shamrock Foods Company decided to change things up in 1994 by creating the Shamrock Farms line of products, revamping its packaging and adding an illustrated “spokescow” named Roxie. It was a daring move for a company that had been around since 1922 in an industry not known for generating much excitement.

“They have taken a really boring, old product and made it pretty exciting with this new packaging,” Stephens says.

Sandy Kelly, director of marketing for Shamrock Farms, admits shaking things up was exactly what the company had in mind.

“It was a real pivotal turning point for the business overall and for the brand,” Kelly says. “We really looked at what was going on and how other consumer packaged goods brands went to market, and what we realized was that the dairy industry has typically been more commodity driven and there isn’t a lot of branding going on nationally. So we wanted to be different.”

Kelly adds that consumer focus groups continue to say they love Roxie, and as a result, the bovine has become the cornerstone of the company’s marketing campaign. In 1998, in an effort to take on soft drinks, Shamrock made some noise again by introducing milk in single-serve bottles instead of the traditional carton. The single-serve bottles are available across the country, including at 21,000 Subway locations. Just recently, Subway launched a milk mustache television ad featuring the company’s spokesman, Jared, holding a single-serve bottle of Shamrock Farms milk.

Also, the company has launched a new line of organic milk and emphasizes that it does not use the synthetic hormone rBST on its dairy cows.

While the company continues to update and add to its brand, it hasn’t lost sight of what makes a brand successful.

“We use the saying: ‘Tradition meets innovation,’” Kelly says. “We have a lot of trust built up with our consumer, but at the same time, we’ve been able to stay relevant with the needs of today, which is a challenge, especially in the dairy category. We’ve been able to have that trust, we’ve been able to build that trust.”

For more information regarding these companies visit:

wpcarey.asu.edu
fcx.com
shamrockfarms.net
usairways.com