American Plans US Airways’ Last Flight

Photo provided by Ryan Ewing

The final countdown is officially beginning for US Airways. On October 17th, according to sources, the US Airways name will disappear from the skies as American Airlines works to finish integrating the brand.

The last flight US Airways flight will be a red-eye leaving from San Francisco at 10pm local time and arriving the morning of October 17th in Philadelphia. The flight is projected to be flown by an Airbus A321 and will operate as flight 434, however this is subject to change.

Earlier this year, American Airlines Group received their single operating certificate from the FAA. This certificate allowed both companies to operate as a single company, as seen from the government. With this, the famed “Cactus” callsign was put into the history books.

SPECIAL EXTRA: American and US Airways Receive Their Single Operating Certificate

Overnight on October 17th, while flight 434 will be flying between coasts, American Airlines employees will remove the remainder of the US Airways titles and signs around the world and they will be replaced with American branding. The US Airways site will still be operating on October 17th, but will automatically direct you to American Airlines’s AA.com site. Ground equipment will slowly receive the new American Airlines paint as they age.

In the meantime, American will continue to paint US Airways’ aircraft into the “newAmerican” livery. Additionally, most aging aircraft will continue to be retired, as American’s McDonnell-Douglas MD-80s and a few Boeing 757s continue to work their way to the desert.

The US Airways name slowly joins other classic names like Continental, Northwest, and Trans World as an airline that has merged into another carrier since the beginning of the century. The US Airways livery will live on though as American Airlines has already announced that they will keep the heritage liveries that US Airways operated as well as adding a US Airways plane, which is N578UW, an Airbus A321.

Ian McMurtry

Ian McMurtry

Ian has been an avgeek since 2004 when he started spotting US Airways Express planes at Johnstown Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Wichita and enjoys spotting planes in Kansas City and Wichita as well as those flying at high altitudes over his home. He is a pilot with more than 40 hours of experience behind a Cessna 172, Diamond DA-20, and Piper PA-28. He flies Southwest Airlines on most of his domestic flights and Icelandair when flying to Europe. Ian’s route map spans from Iceland and Alaska in the north to St. Maarten in the south. He is a student at Wichita State University, where he will study aerospace and mechanical engineering.
Ian McMurtry