American Airlines to reduce jobs without layoffs

AP News
Posted: Feb 22, 2012 3:58 PM
American Airlines to reduce jobs without layoffs

American Airlines says that because of job-sharing and other steps, it won't have to furlough 500 flight attendants this spring.

American said two weeks ago that it planned to cut 500 flight attendants because it's flying less than it did a year ago.

The company and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Wednesday that the furloughs won't be needed because so many workers signed up for job-sharing and voluntary leave.

The union called it "tremendous news for all of our members."

The good news is temporary, however. The furloughs were to be on top of 13,000 jobs that American still wants to eliminate under a bankruptcy reorganization plan.

American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November. CEO Thomas Horton has said the airline will shrink modestly while it reorganizes. Passenger-carrying capacity was down 2.1 percent in January compared with January 2011, with most of the reduction on routes within the U.S.

Company spokeswoman Missy Cousino said that with some flight attendants volunteering to share jobs or take leaves, American officials "hope to have the appropriate staffing levels to manage the current schedule and avoid furloughing flight attendants on April 1."

American has said it will increase flying by 20 percent at its five U.S. hubs over the next five years after emerging from bankruptcy protection with lower costs.