United cutting 950 pilot jobs | AspenTimes.com

United cutting 950 pilot jobs

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

CHICAGO ” United Airlines said Monday it plans to eliminate about 950 pilot jobs beginning this summer in addition to an already announced plan to cut 1,600 salaried positions and reduce its fleet.

The second-largest U.S. carrier told its pilots union about the cuts Monday and said it’s still working out the reductions with the group. Dave Kelly, a spokesman for the United branch of the Air Line Pilots Association, declined to comment.

The initial furlough notices will go out in mid-July and take effect in September, United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said. The cuts will continue into next year, she said.

United has about 6,600 active pilots, McCarthy said.

At an investors’ conference last week, United executives gave details on plans to shed up to 1,600 salaried jobs but didn’t specify what those positions would be. The cuts announced Monday are in addition to those reductions, McCarthy said.

“As we reduce the size of our fleet and take actions companywide to enable United to compete in an environment of record fuel prices, we must take the difficult but necessary step to reduce the number of people we have to run our business,” the company said a statement.

Chicago-based United parent UAL Corp. has made a series of moves in recent weeks to battle rising fuel costs, including grounding at least 70 planes. On Friday, UAL announced it will start requiring minimum stays for nearly all domestic coach seats beginning in October and is raising its cheapest fares by as much as $90 one-way.

United and US Airways also recently joined American Airlines in charging passengers $15 to check their first piece of luggage.

UAL shares fell $1.07, or 15 percent, to $6.09 Monday.