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Wed, Mar 15, 2006

US Airways CEO Turns Down Bonus

"It Was The Right Thing To Do"

It's the kind of news you really don't expect to hear from of the airlines anymore -- but Aero-News has learned that W. Douglas Parker, CEO of US Airways, turned down a $770,000 bonus he was entitled to under terms of his contract as the former head of America West.

USA Today reports Parker said he could not accept the incentive, as US Airways has not yet turned a profit -- meaning employees haven't received anything yet from an employee profit-sharing plan.

Parker -- who became chairman, president and CEO of the combined US Airways after America West merged with US Airways last year -- earned the bonus while heading America West.

While US Airways employee unions applauded Parker's decision, they also lamented the CEO's altruism wasn't shared by most of the airline's other managers -- who accepted their bonuses, thus continuing a trend unions have criticized at US Airways for years.

"It shows a step in the right direction in terms of at least one management person sharing some of the pain that the US Airways Group employees have gone through over the past few years," said Mike Flores, president of the Master Executive Council for the Association of Flight Attendants for US Airways.

Flores added Parker personally told him he had refused the bonus because "it was the right thing to do."

"I think it definitely is the right thing to do," Flores said. "I don't think any management should be taking any bonus or any incentive until this company makes a profit, and that goes from Mr. Parker all the way down to the lowest person in management."

As Aero-News reported last month, US Airways posted a $261 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2005. In announcing the loss, however, Parker said he was confident the airline would be profitable this year.



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