America West Pilot Hat Badge 1st Issue
Phoenix, AZ 1981-2005
The airline was established in February 1981 and began operations August 1, 1983. There was rapid growth. America West's rapid growth resulted in large operating losses, and by 1986 the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. In August 1987, a unit of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd., purchased a 21.6 percent stake in America West. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Transportation started classifying America West Airlines as a major airline. Despite these developments, the airline continued to lose money and America West filed for bankruptcy in June 1991. America West operated under bankruptcy from 1991 to 1994. America West service to local markets was contracted to Mesa Airlines, which began conducting operations as America West Express. In 1994, America West was finally able to secure a reorganization allowing it to come out of bankruptcy. In 2005, America West Holding Corporation Group announced the purchase of US Airways Group. The headquarters is called US Airways Group and is based in Phoenix. The merger was approved Sept. 27, 2005 and America West operates under the US Airways name. The FAA approved the merger on Sept. 25, 2007 ending the 24 year history of America West.