Trans World Airlines has moved to strengthen its relationship with America West by filing an application for a codeshare partnership as it continues to face uncertainty about its financial performance and ownership.

The proposed deal between the two carriers covers codeshare services on over 500 flights to 145 destinations from next March.

The agreement is focused primarily on flights out of the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and St Louis hubs and will give TWA access to 33 new cities. America West will fly to another 39.

"If you lay TWA's route map over America West's you can see the power of this partnership and benefits," says TWA chief executive Bill Compton. TWA offers access to the US Midwest, the Caribbean and Hawaii in return for America West's connections to the Pacific Northwest and Mexico.

An alliance between TWA and America West, the US's eighth and ninth largest carriers respectively, has been in the works since March when the two companies signed a frequent flyer agreement. Industry observers have speculated that the codeshare deal is the next step towards a much closer relationship.

• Little known US investor Global Airlines has again renewed its effort to take over TWA by tendering a $300 million offer directly to the carrier's shareholders after failing to get its management to respond to an earlier bid. Global is offering TWA shareholders the option of $1.50 per share and $2.25 in non-voting Global stock, or swapping all their TWA shares for $3.75 of Global stock.

Source: Flight International