Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frontier Airlines joins the capacity reduction juggernaut

Frontier AirlinesThis week Frontier Airlines announced plans to reduce capacity by 17% this September, grounding seven more aircraft in addition to the four announced earlier this year. The capacity reduction also will result in the loss of a "proportional" number of jobs at the airline, according to an article in the Denver Post. The same article quoted a Frontier spokesman who said the airline is negotiating with Denver International Airport to relinquish one or more of its 22 gates.

More from the Denver Post:
The company said it hasn't determined how many employees it will let go. Competitive severance packages will be offered to those laid off and furloughed, [Frontier spokesman] Snyder said.

Some Frontier staff already have accepted pay cuts. Pilots took a 14.5 percent reduction and other concessions in May. But the chief of Frontier's pilots union said Wednesday he understands Frontier's position.

Airlines have been unable to raise fares enough to cover the rising costs of fuel, said John Stemmler, president of the Frontier Airline Pilots Association. "Something's got to give."

He sent a note to the union's 718 members Wednesday explaining that he is trying to get Frontier to allow senior pilots to take voluntary leaves of one to two years to reduce the number of involuntary furloughs.
Frontier Airlines, which is based in Denver, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in April.