Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Air Tran to Cut 180 Pilots and 300 Flight Attendants

In yet another round of replace flight crews with gasoline, Air Tran announced today that were laying off 480 staff members or roughly 4,500 gallons of gas. This is the latest round of layoffs in the airline industry and U.S. air carriers try and figure out how to convert flight crews into jet fuel.

Discount carrier AirTran Airways is cutting 480 jobs, or more than 5% of its work force, amid difficult financial times due largely to soaring fuel prices, a company executive said Monday.

The Orlando-based airline told employees that 180 pilot jobs and 300 flight attendant jobs will be eliminated effective Sept. 6, according to Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Holdings Inc. Flights also will be reduced in September, Healy said.

AirTran is offering an early out voluntary program for employees with at least five years of service. Eligible employees who are accepted for the program will receive six to 12 months of medical benefits and six to 12 months of flight privileges, Healy said.

AirTran has about 8,900 employees, including 1,450 pilots and 2,000 flight attendants

The airline went on to say that with the weight savings from not having anyone onboard to fly the plane, the company will save thousands over the next 23 years.

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