TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- US Airways (NYSE: LCC) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA (AFA), ratified a new contract today that provides immediate pay increases and includes support for the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. The new contract opens four-party negotiations with American's flight attendant union and airline representatives, an initial step in reaching a combined collective bargaining agreement. Eighty percent of flight attendants voting approved the agreement, which covers the airline's 6,800 flight attendants who are based in US Airways' four hub cities of Phoenix, Philadelphia, Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120103/LA28814LOGO) "We are very pleased that our flight attendants have ratified this new contract. I want to recognize our AFA leadership team at US Airways, especially Roger Holmin and Deborah Volpe, for their hard work and perseverance on behalf of US Airways' flight attendants," said Doug Parker, US Airways' chairman and CEO. "We would also like to express our appreciation to the National Mediation Board, Board Member Linda Puchala and Mediator Jim Mackenzie for their assistance in reaching this agreement." Following ratification today, the new contract specifies negotiations to begin within thirty days between airline officials at US Airways and American Airlines, AFA and the union representing American Airlines flight attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA). The talks would establish protocols for reaching a combined collective bargaining agreement once the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, announced on Feb. 14, is closed. The merger is expected to close by the third quarter of this year following regulatory agency and bankruptcy court approvals. "This merger will create a stronger company, with the path to improved compensation and benefits and greater long-term opportunities for all our employees. We are grateful to have the support of both companies' unions and thank them and their leaders for their hard work and vision. With today's ratification our flight attendants start the process to become one team and one great new airline," said Parker.