U.S. Air, and Pittsburgh (from the perspective of a Pittsburgh native)

I have been doing some research lately into the relation ship between U.S. Air and Pittsburgh, party to supply an adequate awnser to the question I have gotten a few times when I mentioned the dislike for U.S. Air in Pittsburgh, so let’s start all the way from the beginning…

We are taking it way back, and I mean way back, the year is 1939, and All American Aviation got started right here in western PA. By 1949 All American Aviation became All American Airways and began using the DC-3 for passenger service, still based in western PA. In 1953 they really took off, and became Allegheny Air, saying “the mountains and river of the same name that lie in the heart of the airline’s network” a direct reference to the Allegheny River, and Allegheny Mountains located in Pittsburgh and the sounding aeria. As of then things were well and good, they were the home town airline flying DC-9 and other small planes into Pittsburgh. In 1979 they changed their name one last time to U.S. Air. Citing the desire to expand byond their fairly reagonal name, and all is still well. And it was so good that at the request of U.S. Air we went on a nearly 1 billion dollor renovation of the airport in 1987, completed in 1992. It was a model airport, inspiring others in it’s footsteps and given many awards. When the whole nation and world was struck by tragedy on Sept. 11 2001 the airlines took a major blow, and US was no exception. In 2004 they officially pulled out of Pittsburgh International Airport, and when with them we had over 500 daily departures to over 100 destinations by 2007 we had just 70 ish, and only 20 destinations. This was terrible for the airport whare we were running near capacity with things as big as a BA 747 we were now a crippled remain of our selves. We have struggled to pull back since, and are on a good road. The knife in the back was when on their final flight Cactus 1937 they flew right over, going to Philadelphia. Our rival, skipping over the home town, I can tell you we were sad to loose a home town airline, but we had a bad taste from them…


Cleveland is a similar way with Continental, and eventually United. We were a large hub operation for Continental, but when United took over, they shut the hub due to it being to close to Chicago and DC. For a few years, daily flights were way down, but now they are on their way back up. Low cost carriers greatly increased their presence, and we recently got our first intercontinental flights since the dehubbing. Both WOW and Icelandair fly to Reykjavík. In addition, the airport director said that another anonymous carrier will soon announce service to mainland Europe.


Ya, I feel ya, we have WOW, but not Iceland Air…

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@KPIT Was Philly involved in anyway? I know US Air had a hub in PHL, did they transfer jobs there and cut most operations in Pittsburgh?

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I think so, and on a personal level for Pittsburghers that was justblike insult to injury with Phlly is our rival in alot of ways…

But yes, they moved alot to philly…

A little different than Cleveland and Atlanta as those were mainly due to really large mergers. Aren’t you guys receiving the 1 China Eastern Flight this summer to/from Shanghai?

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Kinda, they are a charter by a Chinese tourist company I am not eaven gona try to spell, so only 2 right now, but apparently they want to do more, so yes a very good sight, but hardly a schedule flight yet…

It’s not the same scenario, but Cincinnati used to be Delta’s second largest hub and then starting around 2005, flights were cut and cut until it was down to relatively very little service by Delta. It was also the home of Comair, which is no longer around.

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Ya, we got degradedretty quickly, hard to find stats on this, but I think we skipped focus city so we took a big hit, but here’s to all the air ports mentioned above getting back to their old selves…

I think this hub would have been kept until at least the merger (after that DCA, JFK, LGA are just so close) if Philidelphia had not been a hub. Hopefully you guys can get some LCC service like STL.

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Actually in good news I saw an article about a muinet ago that talked about how some “Visit Pittsburgh” representives met with “major UK airlines” about a possible flight, and I think the feature looks bright, with WOW, Delta, and Condor all having not just routes, but routes they have all expanded in the last year a UK flight seems like the elephant in the room, I bet any money Norwegian was at that table, Pittsburgh seems like the perfect place for them, since they want to fly to relatively populous arias, but not compete with giants KPIT meets, and border line exceeds both of those, but we will have to wait and see…

I could maybe see some Norwegian service to Gatwick or Barcelona (most likely Gatwick). The one Air China this summer might mean more if they can successfully tap into the travel group market with Pittsburgh being the gateway to the North Eastern United States.

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Ya, with the China flight they are planning on using a Charter to Scheduled method, whare they start with a Charter to drumb up interest, and prove to airlines the worth, and then eventually get a full scheduled servace.

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Personally I think the possibility of a scheduled Asia flight is massive, most major or at least large east coast airports have Europe on their itinerary, but Asia is rare for any US airport

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Same thing happened to STL. American bought TWA but planned to keep it around due to ORD and DFW being full up. Then 9/11 happened and the airports being full didn’t happen because nobody wanted to fly so most airlines gutted their flight schedules. American saw no need for STL anymore and moved all operations to DFW and ORD within a few years.

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United has since made Cleveland a focus city for the airline.


While this is true, their operations here are nowhere near the level Continental’s was.


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