Only US Airways filed twice for bankruptcy, then entered a merger where management of the smaller airline took over the operation and moved the headquarters. "The social issues," as they are called, were resolved in a dramatically different fashion than in other mergers, and brought Doug Parker -- now chief of US Airways -- into the ranks of major airline CEOs. Since then, Parker and his team have shaken up the industry, pushing for consolidation at every turn.
|US Airways CEO Doug Parker|
When the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center, Parker, then CEO of America West, was at home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., getting ready to go to work. Just ten days earlier, he had replaced retiring Bill Franke, now chairman of Spirit (SAVE).
In the weeks that followed, the 40-year-old CEO underwent a baptism by fire, presiding over a nearly-broke airline that was carrying barely any passengers in a badly damaged airline economy.That morning, the phone calls came in, first from Parker's sister-in-law, who mentioned a crash, and then from the airline's operations control center, which said the Federal Aviation Administration had grounded all commercial flights. As he quickly drove the half dozen miles to work, Parker said, "my first concern was making sure all our people were safe." That turned out to be the case.
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