Tempe-based US Airways’ plan to combine reservations for US Airways and America West flights is on schedule for an early Sunday takeoff.
Pilots hoped to halt the system implementation, which US Airways has dubbed the next major milestone in merging the two carriers.
But the union failed to get a restraining order after filing a lawsuit Wednesday that claims the new reservations system constitutes the “merger of the airlines,” an action the pilots claim is illegal since the labor groups have not been integrated first.
US Airways said the flights are still operated separately with separate crews, so the reservation system implementation does not “merge the air- lines.”
While the court sided with the airline, the pilots said they won’t back down.
“US Airways management is clearly trying to circumvent the process and capitalize on the synergies of the merger without fulfilling the promise,’’ the pilots group said Friday.
America West Airlines bought US Airways, then under bankruptcy protection, in September 2005, keeping the America West headquarters and management team but adopting the East Coast airline’s name. The pilots and other labor groups have been negotiating with management for more than a year to forge joint contracts but have been making little progress, according to both sides. The pilots have been covered by a transition agreement in the interim. Interpretation of the terms of that agreement is at issue.
But as of late Friday, the new system is still slated to be installed between midnight and 2 a.m. Arizona time Sunday. Reservationtaking will be disabled during the installation. US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder said the carrier picked a time period when almost no customers even try to make reservations or check in for flights.
About 7 million passenger records will be transferred to the new system, Wunder said.
The airline is expecting a smooth transition with “minimal customer impact,” she said.
That wasn’t the case when the company merged Web sites a year ago, when the system experienced multiple problems.
Wunder said the company does not expect a similar scenario.