Thursday, October 29, 2009

US Airways plans to scale back, close some crew bases, reduce work force by 1,000

by B. N. Sullivan

US Airways A320US Airways has announced plans to reduce its work force by about 1,000 in early 2010. Among the jobs cuts: about 200 pilots and 150 flight attendants. Roughly 600 ground workers also will be laid off.

Crew bases at Las Vegas and New York/La Guardia will be closed as of January 31, 2010; the Boston crew base will be eliminated in early May. Crew bases in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. will be retained.

Following what the carrier calls a 'realignment strategy', US Airways plans to consolidate its operations around its three hub cities -- Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix -- plus Washington, DC. Shuttle service between New York/LaGuardia Airport, Boston and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will continue.

Among the changes: reduction of the number of Las Vegas flights; closure of stations at Colorado Springs and Wichita; redeployment of 15 E-190 aircraft to the shuttle service; and suspension of five European destinations currently served from Philadelphia. The airline plans to return its Philadelphia-Beijing flight authority to the Department of Transportation (DOT) "until economic conditions improve, while retaining the option to reapply for this authority in the future."

US Airways CEO Doug Parker said, "By concentrating on our strengths we will be better positioned to return US Airways to profitability, which will result in a more consistent experience for our customers, better returns for our shareholders and greater job stability and career opportunities for our employees."

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