As it fights to emerge from bankruptcy, US Airways faces a
two-pronged attack from low-cost competitors Southwest Airlines and
AirTran Airways. Last Thursday, Southwest announced it would begin
operating flights from Pittsburgh -- once the biggest hub of US
Airways -- to Philadelphia, Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas, with
fares beginning as low as $29 one-way on May 4. "Southwest's
introductory fares are a great bargain; and no matter how far you
fly, we know when choosing an airline, fare is the number one
driver," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's CEO. On the same day, AirTran
will begin offering flights from Charlotte -- another major US
Airways hub -- to Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington and Boston for as
little as $59 each way. "Charlotte has been plagued by the highest
fares in the country for a number of years," said Robert L.
Fornaro, AirTran president and COO. "That changes May 4."