Shareholders of Allegheny Airlines yesterday approved a change of the company name to USAir.

Part of a campaign to shed the regional image the name suggested, Edwin I. Colodny, Allegheny chairman and preseident, told shareholders at the annual meeting here that the new name would more accurately portray the airline as a major national carrier in line with its expanding route structure, the result of new opportunties created by the Airline Deregulation Act. Colodny said the new name would begin appearing on airplanes this summer as they are painted on a routine schedule.

As in past meetings, a couple of shareholders complained that the company was earning money-a record $32.3 million last year-and should begin paying dividends. No dividend on common stock has been paid since 1966. Colodny said the company continued to review the question of paying dividends but did not think it was "appropriate" at this time because of the company's need of capital for new aircraft.

Also at the meeting, the company was prodded by Harry Korba, a shareholder from New York about the all-male board of directors" Korba asked, listing the airlines that did, including Eastern, Continental and Pan American World Airways. "I think it's time you joined the bandwagon."

Colodny replied that the airline now had some female pilots "so we have made some progress." CAPTION: Picture, Alegheny Chairman and President Edwin Colodny tells shareholders about proposed name change to USAir. By Frank Johnston-The Washington Post