U.S. Airways Group is in the news today after appointing Robert Isom previously a senior vice president with GMAC to the role of executive vice president/chief operating officer. Isom will begin his new responsibilities immediately. Prior to his work with GMAC, Isom served as a senior vice president with Northwest Airlines (NWA), so he should know his way around the biz.

In addition to stock benefits, Isom will earn $400,000 annually and a one-time bonus of $120,000, which will need to be repaid if he voluntarily leaves LCC or is dismissed for cause in the next 12 months.

In a broad downgrade of the airline group, Calyon Securities lowered its rating on LCC today to add from buy. The firm citied a seasonal decline in leisure travel, continued high oil prices, and increased competitive pressures, with Virgin America emerging on the playing field.

LCC is currently trading almost 4% lower this afternoon. Earlier this week, the stock endured a failed attempt to rally through its colliding 10-week and 20-week moving averages. This pair of trendlines has been helping to guide the shares lower for nearly all of 2007.