US AIRWAYS BUFFS IMAGE, READIES NEW BIZ CLASS ENVOY CLASS WILL EMPHASIZE TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHT COMFORT

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Newly rechristened US Airways will introduce its redesigned and branded trans-Atlantic business class this summer in a $25 million TV campaign.

The former USAir broke a national print and radio teaser campaign from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, last week, introducing its new name and logo. The ads hint at things to come, such as refurbished cabins and lounges, an upgraded mileage program and the new Envoy Class.

TRANS-ATLANTIC TREND

American Airlines and British Airways have already renovated trans-Atlantic business classes, with United Airlines and Delta Air Lines expected to follow soon.

US Airways' Envoy Class will follow its rivals in focusing on comfort. It is expected to extend the standard 50-inch space between seats-known as "pitch"-to a total of 56 inches for the new class.

A US Airways' newspaper ad, running in 20 markets, reads, "Many airlines will upgrade your seat. Very few will upgrade the entire airline." It is the first campaign to use the new name. Pat Dewey, US Airways senior director of advertising and sales promotion, said the carrier felt the old name "didn't have the stature that said 'longer-haul airline.'*"

INT'L TRAFFIC UP 76.4%

Despite an impending split with partner British Airways, US Airways experienced a 76.4% increase in international traffic in December compared to a year earlier as a result of its recent boost in overseas destinations.

Citing such changes as moving from No. 7 for on-time performance to No. 1 for fourth-quarter 1996, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Ms. Dewey said the teaser and Envoy Class campaigns "reflect that we've made substantial advances and signal that we're not who we were."

The airline spent $27.5 million in measured media in the first 11 months of '96, according to Competitive Media Reporting; international destination ads

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