US Airways plans Phoenix to Europe flights

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US Airways has plans to launch up to two flights between its Phoenix hub and Europe, as it continues to grow internationally.

The Tempe, Arizona-based Star alliance carrier has near- to medium-term plans to add flights between Phoenix and London and Frankfurt, says Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Dallas today.

He notes that the service faces two issues. First, there is less feed than through the airlines' east coast hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia. Secondly, they need two aircraft to fly a round-trip to Europe in a day compared to one from the east coast.

US Airways also has near-term plans to grow its Europe operations from the east coast as well as to deep South America, says Kirby.

The airline continues to work with local authorities in Sao Paulo to secure slots and gate space at the city's Guarulhos airport to begin flights between Charlotte and Sao Paulo, he adds. It has authority from the US Department of Transportation for the route.

"[South America] is one of the harder markets to get into from a regulatory perspective," says Kirby. Despite this challenge, US Airways continues to see the region as a "growth market", he continues.

Long-term, US Airways plans to begin service to Asia when it begins receiving the 22 Airbus A350s that it has on order in 2017 based on its stand alone business plan, says Kirby.