American capacity cuts mean 1600 job losses

AMERICAN Airlines is to cut 1,600 jobs made in conjunction with recent capacity reductions of 7.5 per cent.

A spokesman said that 1,200 flight attendant, 300 airport services and 50 cargo service positions will be lost. Early retirement packages will be offered to employees who those who willing to accept them.

Gerard Arpey’s, American’s chief executive officer, said: “We are not sugarcoating the magnitude of what we, along with every other airline, are up against in this economic climate. The cuts we implemented last year have been helpful, and as a result, we did not make major changes to our summer schedule. But looking forward, we think an adjustment to our fall schedule is warranted, so we are making additional cuts beginning in late August.”

In a letter to the airline’s employees, Jeff Brundage, senior vice-president of human resources, said: “These are trying times in the airline industry and our economy,” wrote Brundage, senior vice-president of human resources. “The recession has taken a disproportionate toll on airlines, and there is no easy way to announce yet more bad news.

“These reductions come as a result of our efforts to ‘right size’ our operation and respond to the weaker demand for travel by reducing our schedule, including seasonal changes, and addressing lower-than-expected attrition.”

As of 31 March American had 67,000 employees, down from 71,800 in the same month last year and 97,800 in 2002.

American will reduce capacity by 5.5 per cent on international routes, instead of the two per cent predicted in April, while domestic capacity will be cut 7.5 per cent, down one per cent from the April predictions.

Meanwhile, American Airlines Cargo has announced that it will increase its fuel surcharge by $0.05 per kg in most international markets and $0.02 per lb for US domestic shipments, as of 25 June. AA Cargo will increase its international fuel surcharge amounts as stated on the country-specific fuel matrix.

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