US Airways flight attendants ratify contract

Flight attendants at US Airways Group Inc approved a contract with the carrier which provides pay raises and job protections by a margin of 80 percent, their union said on Thursday.

The present US Airways, which has about 6,700 flight attendants, was formed from a 2005 merger with America West Airlines. Flight attendants at US Airways have been working under separate contracts for years as their union negotiated to reach a joint agreement. The new contract would apply to flight attendants of the premerger US Airways and of the former America West.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said the agreement boded well for US Airways flight attendants, as US Airways has announced plans to merge with AMR Corp's American Airlines, a tie-up that would form the world's biggest air carrier.

The pact requires discussions with management from American and US Air as well as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants union that represents American's flight attendants to develop a framework for integrating the two carriers' workers.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)