The month of December is a great time to reflect on the past year and what it meant to each of us. Specifically for PSA, December celebrates the one year anniversary of multiple announcements made by (what is now) American Airlines Group that would seal the fate of large-scale growth and changes for PSA Airlines.
December 12, 2013 marked the announcement of the official merger of US Airways and American Airlines. Coinciding with this announcement, the newly-formed American Airlines Group announced an order of 30 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to be operated by PSA. At the time, PSA’s fleet consisted of 49 aircraft. News of the subsequent doubling of the airline corresponded with the unveiling of PSA’s new brand and logo to all employees and the public. The rest of December and 2013 was met with a great deal of excitement and even more preparations for the year to come.
Since last December’s announcement, PSA has hired nearly 700 employees, taken delivery of 15 CRJ900’s, been awarded the transfer of 47 additional aircraft, initiated the build of a new Operations Control Center in Dayton, and developed plans to further increase its presence in Dayton, Charlotte, and additional locations by way of new maintenance hangars and future crew bases. Over 600 employees have gone through training held in PSA’s Mark Zweidinger Professional Learning Center in biweekly training classes of 30 to 40 pilots and 20 to 30 flight attendants.
2014 also marked a change in leadership for PSA Airlines as Keith Houk retired from his position as PSA President after 25 years with US Airways. Dion Flannery transitioned into the role with experience in overseeing multiple regional airlines simultaneously as former president of US Airways Express.
In addition to growth milestones, this past year has been inundated with fun and celebratory events like the Delivery Ceremony of the 1st CRJ900 in Mirabel, Breaking Ground on the New OCC, and PSA’s Visit to the Embry-Riddle Daytona Campus. All the photos from these events and more can be viewed on PSA’s Flickr page.
So what can we expect from PSA in 2015? To start, the process of transferring the CR7’s is set to commence at the end of the second quarter. Accompanied by further network expansion, like moving into ORD, and important changes to our PSS in the fall, one thing is certain: 2014 has successfully set PSA on a path of growth and expansion that is set to continue throughout the upcoming year.
PSA Team Members,
Thank you for your commitment to the success of this year’s United Way Donation Drive. PSA’s total contribution has now surpassed our goal of donating $20,000 to our communities and I am personally very proud of the sacrifice each of you have shown throughout the donation drive.
It is my pleasure to announce this year’s winners of the United Way Raffle. We hope each of you enjoy your prizes and thank you again for your generosity.
$25 Gift Card 46″ LED Samsung SmartTV $50 Gift Card
Safety Specialist Alex Marshal Pilot Trainee Alex Ramirez Pilot Trainee Damian Rodriguez
Dion Flannery, PSA President
This October, PSA visited Embry Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus, bringing a brand new CRJ900 for students to view and tour. Along with that visit, a raffle contest was held to determine which two Embry Riddle flight students would win the opportunity to travel to American Airline’s Training Center in Charlotte, North Carolina for two free hours of instructed simulator time.
Taking advantage of Embry Riddle’s holiday vacation, the two students, Liam and Tyrus, flew into Charlotte from their hometowns yesterday and met with PSA’s Check Airman Supervisor, Jeremy Swicegood, to get a tour of the facility and get the most out of their time in the sim. Neither student had been in a full motion sim quite like the Training Center’s CRJ 100/200/700 before. Practicing takeoffs and landings, inclement weather conditions, and various situations including stalls, crosswinds, and turbulence, the students got to experience the many thrills of piloting a large regional jet!
“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Liam and Tyrus. These young aviators were inquisitive, sharp and quick learners. By the end of their time in the simulator they flew an ILS to minimums, encountered windshear, and encountered an engine failure on takeoff. I hope to see them again one day in the future flying for PSA.” Jeremy Swicegood, PSA Check Airman Supervisor
Make sure to check out the full album at http://bit.ly/1AiOAdg
Alan Kuznicki began his career at PSA in 2001 as first officer and upgraded to captain in 2005. Before receiving his interview and subsequent offer to move on to American Airlines through our SSP program this year, Alan’s time here at PSA was full of hard work and dedication to his passengers and fellow crew members. Our affections for such a devoted pilot were echoed in his farewell letter to PSA:
“This Holiday season I’m thankful for…..PSA Airlines. PSA was my first airline, where I flew my first jet, where I first upgraded, where I met my first (and only) wife, where I bought my first house, and where I had my first kid. Obviously I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but PSA helped make it all happen.
I bid a very fond farewell to all of the wonderful crews I’ve flown with, the amazing OCC, Maintenance, Administrative, Managerial, and Headquarters Staff that work tirelessly every day, ground personnel, ATC, the roughly 500,000 passengers I’ve transported in the last 13 1/2 years, and the millions of lives, families, and businesses that I’ve helped to forge stronger bonds between.
Thank you PSA!
Congratulations, Alan! We wish you the best of luck!
PSA Ground Instructor Jonathan Hudson was first asked to help train PSA’s future pilots shortly after completing his own training early this year. With a background in flight instructing and corporate flying, Jonathan knows the importance of finding the best fit for your career. The long hours on call as a corporate pilot had Jonathan wishing for a set schedule and a possible future as a captain.
These days he takes pride in instructing PSA trainees, coaching them for the last time before they proceed to sim. But he looks forward to flying on the line in 2015. “Instructing makes you a better pilot and flying makes you a better instructor”
The best part of the position for Jonathan: sharing the experience with his kids. “They love it. we always talk about flying stories. My oldest son knows all of the callouts. I’m sure he could pass IPT.” Thanksgiving for Jonathan will be spent with his kids in Arizona.
So what does a PSA Instructor think of this past year’s hiring surge? “It’s neat to see the training department change- the volume of people is going up but the methods of training are constantly improving, becoming more innovative. The new flight training devices, students getting tablets, various special projects taking place- it’s exciting.”
“The cool thing about PSA is that it’s one of the only places where everyone is excited to be here. I rode jumpseat last week with a PSA First Officer that has been here since this March and is about to upgrade to captain. Everyone seems to be excited about the growth, and with good reason.”