USAir insists cash sufficient, disputes auditors

April 15, 1995|By a Sun Staff Writer

Responding to a bleak auditors' assessment, USAir Group Inc. has said it expects to finish 1995 with more than $400 million in cash and that it "has not hired bankruptcy counsel, nor does it intend to do so."

In the company's year-end filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, auditors for the Arlington, Va.-based airline expressed "substantial doubt" that the financially struggling airline could continue operating in its current form.

But the airline, in a separate filing made later that day, insisted it had enough funds for normal operations through 1995, "barring unanticipated events," and has not hired a bankruptcy attorney.

Since 1988, USAir has lost more than $3 billion, including $684.9 million last year when many other major carriers were starting to post profits. The airline, which has the highest labor costs of any major carrier, is seeking a crucial agreement with its labor unions that could save $500 million a year in wages, benefits and work rules.

Last month, USAir reached a tentative cost-cutting pact with its pilots union that would cut salaries by 22 percent and allow up to 300 pilots to be furloughed over the next two years. The agreement, however, is contingent on the airline striking similar deals with its other unions. Talks with those unions are continuing.

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