US Airways / British Airways Global Alliance – Back to the Future

by Adam

“Today, two airlines share one vision – to join the world together as never before. Announcing the global alliance of USAir and British Airways. Now, there are no boundaries.”

Anyone remember this alliance from the early ’90s? Yes, British Airways has quite the history with both of the airlines comprising the New American and will by default once again return to an alliance with US Airways.

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In January 1993 British Airways announced a new alliance with USAir, including an immediate investment of US$300m by British Airways in new convertible preferred shares in USAir, for an initial 19.9% voting interest. The agreement gave British Airways options over the next five years to invest up to a further US$450m in preferred shares in USAir in two tranches if financial and regulatory conditions permitted. Commercial arrangements that were announced simultaneously covered codesharing on USAir flights in the USA, and the launch by British Airways of three new transatlantic services using USAir crews and aircraft leased from USAir. Both parties intended to explore other areas in which they would be able to work together to their mutual benefit.

In June of that same year, British Airways launched daily flights between Gatwick and Pittsburgh using a USAir Boeing 767 in British Airways livery and staffed by USAir crews in British Airways uniforms. Similar services were launched to Baltimore in October and Charlotte in January 1994.

Only three years later in December 1996, British Airways gave notice of its intention to sell all of its shares in USAir and in January announced the resignation from the Board of USAir of its three nominated directors. One month later in January 1997, British Airways and American Airlines submitted a joint application to the US Department of Transportation, requesting formal approval of their alliance. *The alliance did not end well, and even included a court battle.  See – “USAir Sues British Airways Over Pact With American”

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PS – Anyone remember the frequent flier arrangement between US and AA in the early 2000’s? I specifically remember crediting several of my US Airways Shuttle flights to AA!

US:AA History in the Making

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m2 (m-squared) November 18, 2013 - 8:41 pm

I remember the AA/US frequent flyer agreement. I did an award ticket in 1999 that pulled from both accounts to reach the amount needed.

JustSaying November 18, 2013 - 8:59 pm

BA executives probably soiled themselves over this new agreement/airline……… soon can they exit and with who will they sleep with next?

Andy November 18, 2013 - 10:01 pm

Is this today’s news? Does it mean, BA will quit One World and join Star Alliance? I have 125K BA miles. What is the impact on my BA mileage?

adam November 19, 2013 - 7:41 am

@Andy – No, don’t worry, this is an old alliance. The point of the entry is that with the US/AA merger now approved, US will join Oneworld and once again become a British Airways partner.

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