PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leadership of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware today announced the creation of "Protect Our Hub," a new region-wide public awareness effort to educate the community about a potential merger between US Airways and American Airlines which threatens the viability of Philadelphia International Airport in the midst of an expansion plan.
"We find ourselves in the awkward position of questioning the economic and financial decisions of the management of these two carriers. But question we must, because such a merger could threaten the economy of greater Philadelphia and undo all other efforts at the airport," said Steven Bradley, chair of the chamber. "From our perspective, if US Airways merges with American Airlines, our fear is that the new airline could downgrade its Philadelphia International Operations which would mean fewer opportunities for minority and women owned businesses and their employees."
Bradley's remarks came at a press conference this morning organized by City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson in whose district the airport is located. The Councilman intends to convene hearings seeking a better explanation as to the effect such a merger might have on Philadelphia. Others participating in the press conference included business, labor and elected leaders, all of whom expressed concerns that US Airways' history elsewhere – particularly in Pittsburgh – is a blueprint for actions it might take in Philadelphia if a merger takes place.
Despite assurances to the contrary, US Airways cut flights and shed gates at Pittsburgh International following its merger with America West Airlines seven years ago. More than 10,000 people lost jobs and taxpayers were left paying for the airport built specifically for US Airways.