US AIRWAYS has made a new contract offer to pilots who are suing the US carrier over tactics used during fruitless bargaining over cost-cutting measures.

The airline claims that the proposal would provide pilots with job security while enhancing growth in operations which keep pace with rival airlines. Both sides support the creation of a low-cost airline subsidiary, US2, but they have been unable to agree to specifics.

The lawsuit filed by the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) alleges that management has intimidated and threatened pilots. It seeks immediate "moderate" pay rises, but is willing to accept increased efficiency of pilot staffing and scheduling after US Airways grows.

Lower salaries for US2 pilots would rival those of Southwest, but they would work more hours a day. ALPA says that US2's services should be limited to 10% of the "mainline" airline's current flying, and increase to 20% if US Airways expands. US2 would fly only to cities where US Airways faces stiff competition from low-fare rivals.

Stephen Wolf, US Airways chairman, says that he will cancel a $14 billion order for up to 400 Airbus A320s if concessions are not finalised by 30 September.

Source: Flight International