Thursday, July 10, 2008

2,500 jobs to be cut at Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines logoNorthwest Airlines is the latest U.S. carrier to announce impending job cuts in conjunction with a capacity reduction. Yesterday the airline said it will reduce its frontline and management employees by 2,500 in the coming months. That number represents 8% of Northwest's total work force.

Last month Northwest announced plans to reduce its system mainline capacity (domestic and international) in the fourth quarter of 2008 by 8.5% - 9.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. In a news release issued yesterday, Northwest said that the reduction in personnel is a result of these flight reductions, and that all employee groups at the airline will see some job cuts.

In order to accomplish the work force reduction, Northwest plans to initiate a variety of voluntary measures including early-out programs, voluntary leaves, and work rule modifications. Should voluntary measures fail to achieve the targeted number of job cuts, some employees will be furloughed involuntarily.

Doug Steenland, President and CEO of Northwest Airlines, said "These reductions are the direct result of our extraordinary fuel costs and the necessary actions we must take to right-size our airline and eliminate unprofitable flying."