updated 1/4/2006 2:18:38 PM ET 2006-01-04T19:18:38

The new US Airways Group Inc., formed by Tempe-based America West Airlines’ acquisition of the old US Airways last year, is beginning its biggest push yet to operate under a single name.

Former America West reservations agents are beginning to answer the phone “US Airways” and gate agents and flight crews will start referring to all flights as US Airways flights, mentioning that some are operated by America West.

Everything with a logo, including ticket jackets and in-flight napkins, was being changed to US Airways beginning Wednesday, although some airports will be using up their old America West items. Airport signs in America West’s hubs in Phoenix and Las Vegas will soon change as well.

“We are trying to move as aggressively as we can to seamlessly convert to one name in ways that make sense to customers,” said Travis Christ, the airline’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Other big changes will take longer.

Christ said the entire America West fleet won’t be repainted to the new US Airways scheme until the end of the year.

The airlines will also still have two Web sites for the next few months, though customers will be directed to USAirways.com.

Combining the airlines’ reservation systems will take about a year. It will take up to two years before the airlines can fully integrate flight crews and operations under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

Randy Petersen, who follows the airline industry as publisher of InsideFlyer magazine and creator of FlyerTalk.com, said name changes can take a while to catch on.

That will be particularly true in Phoenix, which has long been dominated by homegrown America West and rival Southwest Airlines Co.

“There’s only two things you know out there, and they both have West in them,” Petersen said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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