The 3 aircraft were painted *entirely* in BA
colours and operated under a wet-lease agreement on the following services: BWI
. Crew were all USAir, with the cockpit crew in US uniforms but the cabin crew in BA
uniforms. These personnel bid these flights exclusively and attended training with BA
in UK to learn BA
's service, procedures, etc. Ground handling was also performed by USAir in those 3 stations, again with dedicated staff wearing BA
uniforms. Once onboard, the only mention of USAir was a small placard in the forward galley stating "This aircraft is owned and operated by USAir."
I recall the inaugural flight into LGW
was a bit confusing, as BA
only operated 767-300's and the USAir 767-200 had some troubles at the parking stand with the jetbridge meeting up properly. This was also the time of the reconfiguration of all US' 767's into the current biz configuration of 2-2-2. Previously US had a 2-1-2 arrangement (with less pitch) but they modified the entire fleet to offer a consistent "club world" type product. In fact, for a long time the in-seat video control on US was labelled "colour" instead of "color" (the seats having come from BA
The reasoning for the codeshares at the time was BA
's lack of aircraft and the economy of allowing US to fly those routes on their behalf, with significant thru traffic to/from USAir's domestic network.
From time to time those aircraft would cycle back into US mainline flying for a day or two after maintenance, and I remember flying non-rev on a PHL
flight in full BA
colours. I flew down and came right back; just wanted to say that I'd flown on it.
I can't fully recall the reason for the break up in the end, other than each side didn't really gain what they were hoping for from the relationship. As stated by IndustrialPate, BA
was looking for an "in" to the US market, and USAir needed the cash. I seem to recall the final straw being US' failure to meet certain financial goals and BA
holding back a payment of $400 million (but don't quote me on that one).