Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Furloughs announced for AirTran Airways crews

AirTran Airways Boeing 717-200When I wrote about announced pay cuts at AirTran Airways a few days ago, I said that furloughs were sure to follow. Well, here they come.

AirTran Airways says that, due to soaring fuel prices, it will reduce capacity by five per cent in 2008. In conjunction with the capacity reduction, the carrier is planning to cut 180 pilots and 300 flight attendants from its work force. The furloughs are expected to begin in September of this year. AirTran currently employs about 1,450 pilots and 2,000 flight attendants.

Regarding the AirTran furloughs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the carrier will offer a voluntary "Early Exit" program to crew members in an effort to reduce the number of involuntary furloughs that will be required:
The company is offering the voluntary program to all employees with five years of seniority, with the exception of directors and officers. It will give extended health and travel benefits to employees who decide by July 31 to take an early exit.

If not enough flight attendants or pilots volunteer to leave, the airline said it would furlough workers Sept. 6 to meet the targeted cuts. Most of the job cuts will be in Atlanta because all of AirTran's pilots and most of its flight attendants are based in Atlanta.
AirTran reportedly still is considering layoffs for other work groups as well.

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