With JV Participation On Hold, US Airways Goes It Alone On Transatlantic - Business Travel News

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With JV Participation On Hold, US Airways Goes It Alone On Transatlantic

February 02, 2012 - 01:55 PM ET

By Jay Boehmer

In summer 2010, US Airways expressed a desire to join the transatlantic antitrust-immune joint venture formed by Star Alliance partners Air Canada, Lufthansa and United Airlines. A year and a half later, the carrier instead is focused on its "own stand-alone prospects" across the Atlantic, according to president Scott Kirby.

Kirby last week during the carrier's earnings call said that the joint venture still is "something we'd do," but added that "it's not the top priority." Since the carrier first mused publicly about joining the joint venture, it had become "clear that it was going to take longer" to embark on "substantive JV discussions," Kirby said, particularly as United and Continental focused on merger integration.

Instead, US Airways has bulked up its sales force, putting more feet on the ground in European markets. Kirby last week called the carrier's Atlantic strategy a "success story," claiming corporate revenue from European points of sale was up "just under 50 percent" year over year for the last three months of 2011. US Airways last week also reported corporate demand and revenue gains in the United States. 

Kirby credited those results to US Airways senior vice president of sales, marketing and planning Andrew Nocella, who he said reinvigorated sales efforts and convinced management "to invest more in Europe."

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