MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – US Airways Federal Credit Union will continue to operate business as usual after its largest employer group, US Airways, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Aug.12. Flights will continue on their normal schedule for US Airways, the nation's seventh largest airline and the company is confident that it will emerge from bankruptcy early next year, said Chris Chiames, the airline's vice president for corporate affairs. Still, while the company listed assets of $7.81 billion, liabilities of $7.83 billion and said its cash flow was "relatively stable," Chiames said the airline would not last with the peak summer travel season about to end. Meanwhile, credit union members have not expressed much concern over the announcement mostly because "they've been down this road before," said Ralph Canterbury, US Airways FCU's vice president of technology. "Our members are fairly educated and familiar with the process so we really don't expect any effect on our operations in the short term," Canterbury said. The credit union serves 98,000 members, 70 select employee groups and has $630 million in assets. "Chapter 11 doesn't mean the airline has ceased operations, no one has lost a paycheck," Canterbury said. "This is a non-event and we will operate business as usual." A message on US Airways FCU's Web site states that the credit union is a completely separate entity. "While we share the same name, our business decisions are made solely by the credit union's board of directors and management," the Web message reads. The credit union was recently examined by NCUA, is operating in compliance with the rules and regulations set by federal regulators and is "well capitalized, financially strong and growing." Meanwhile, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert G. Mayer allowed US Airways to continue normal operations while it is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The judge also approved a $500 million financing package that the airline can draw from while in it reorganizes. Chiames said airline customers appeared to be unaffected by the filing and reservation agents were booking roughly the same number of tickets. Company officials have acknowledged there will likely be some layoffs and some shrinkage of the airline as a result of the bankruptcy process, but have declined to discuss further details. -

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