Frontier Airlines plans cutbacks
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER ” Frontier Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection in April, said Wednesday it plans to trim capacity, planes and eventually jobs this fall and winter as it deals with a slumping economy and rising fuel costs.
The Denver-based carrier said the capacity reduction would include a “proportional reduction” in its work force but did not say how many jobs might be lost. The airline has about 6,000 employees.
It said its mainline capacity will be down 17 percent from September through March compared to the same period a year earlier.
Frontier also will cut its Airbus fleet by seven more planes, on top of the four planes it agreed to sell earlier this year. The fleet cuts will be phased in, beginning in mid-August.
Frontier had 60 Airbus aircraft before the sale of the four planes. Its Lynx Aviation subsidiary has 10 Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Lynx began serving the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in April.
Sean Menke, CEO of Frontier Airlines, said the moves were difficult but necessary as the airline industry deals with record fuel prices and a slowing economy.
Other airlines also have announced cuts.
Among them, United Airlines, which also has a hub in Denver and is the major carrier serving the Aspen airport, is reducing its fleet, eliminating about 950 pilot jobs beginning this summer and cutting 1,600 salaried positions. Continental Airlines Inc. plans to cut 3,000 jobs, ground 67 jets and reduce flights. American Airlines is cutting domestic capacity 11 percent to 12 percent, and American Eagle will cut capacity 10 percent to 11 percent, compared with levels of late 2007.
The parent of Frontier Airlines filed a Chapter 11 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in April to gain protection as it restructures debt. The move came after credit card processor First Data Corp. sought to keep up to 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales in reserve until passengers completed their flights. The parties have reached a new agreement on handling proceeds, though details haven’t been disclosed.
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