Funny story about America West's identifier being "HP"...
Once upon a time, 20 years ago, a fledgling airline was being created, to be named America West. The people bringing said airline to life were dismayed to discover that their identifier would have a number in it (like how jetBlue is B6
and Frontier is F9
, etc). They believed that having a number in the identifier was associated with having a small unimportant airline. Much to their surprise, a failed start-up, called Hawaiian Pacific, had their code "HP" up for grabs. Hence forth, America West started operations with the identifier HP
(At least that's the info I got during my tenure with the company.)
As for a merger between America West and USAirways...it has its pro's and its con's. The initial idea sounds good. USAirways would get their long-desired West Coast presence, America West would finally have an East Coast presence. Both airlines have similar fleet types and both have Mesa as regional affiliated. However, there would be a lot of hurdles to complete also. USAirways already failed taking on Southwest at Baltimore, imagine having to deal with Southwest at Las Vegas and Phoenix, America West's main hubs. In addition, America West's Airbus fleet has different engines compared to USAirways'. Not to mention the costs associated with such an endeavor, unless the RSA would like to chip in some funds from their endless pockets.