Members Mostly Unconcerned Over Sponsor's Bankruptcy

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The second bankruptcy filing in two years by its main sponsor, US Airways, Inc., has not stirred member faith in US Airways Federal Credit Union.

"The member reaction has been extremely calm," said VP-Marketing and Technology Ralph Canterbury. "I think there was a lot more concern the first time."

For several weeks, 28,000 employees of US Airways watched labor negotiations between pilots and the airline go on before breaking down. The airline sought $1.5 billion in overall savings, including $800 million in salary concessions.

Canterbury said credit union's staff has fielded "periodic phone calls mostly from new members who don't fully understand the relationship between us and US Airways." He said members feel better once they learn that the CU is governed by a completely separate entity than the airline and that their finances will not be affected by the bankruptcy filing. It also serves 120 SEGs.

The $610-million US Airways FCU also posted information on its website that assures the credit union is "well capitalized, financially strong and continuing to grow."

"We haven't had any difference in our day-to-day operation," Canterbury said. "We're prepared to deal with what's going on in the industry. The key is understanding where you want to go with your credit union."

Meanwhile, the $2.5-billion, Atlanta-based Delta Airlines Employees CU has posted a similar notice to its members concerned about Delta Airline's financial struggles. The airline recently announced 7,000 jobs cuts and may seek bankruptcy protection in the near future. A spokeswoman declined comment.

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