I noticed US Airways is now using the AWExxx flight number and “Cactus” call sign on all flights. I thought just the old America West based flight crews were using that call sign and flight number. Does anyone know why it changed, and why if the airline is called US Airways they decided to use AWExxx as the flight identifier?
Contrary to popular belief, it was America west that took over US Airways.
On May 19, 2005, America West Holdings Corporation announced it would acquire the Arlington County, Virginia based US Airways Group. The new entity is named US Airways Group and is headquartered in America West’s former corporate offices. US Airways Group corporate offices in Virginia were shut down, and most US Airways management were laid off. America West CEO Doug Parker became CEO of the merged companies, and his management team remains in control. The merger was completed on September 27, 2005, and America West now operates under the old US Airways brand, which was felt to be more appropriate to the combined airline’s nationwide route network. A merger of the two airlines’ FAA operating certificates occurred on September 25, 2007 (the USAirways Certificate survived,) ending the 24-year history of America West Airlines.
Why they took so long to stop using the USA call sign is something I’m still researching.
EDIT: Add results of research. Although operating under one certificate, contractual disagreements prevented pilots from USA operating AWE aircraft and vice-versa.
I realize that is was AWE that took over US. It seems the flight number switch occured on Thursday. I was wondering what happened that led to this switch. It doesn’t make sense that the airline is called US Airways and their aircraft no longer use US Air as their call sign.
Good question. I am sure they had other things, and to them a call sign was a pretty small measure in the scheme of putting together two airlines which takes years. I like Cactus more personally.
As part of the terms to the merger agreement, the HQ of the new US Airways would be located at America West’s Tempe, AZ complex and that the ‘Cactus’ call-sign would be retained and used system wide.
I like Cactus better too. Since the new US Airways all but pulled out of Pittsburgh they shouldn’t be allowed to use the name that started here!
Will be updated on the site in a couple hours.