US Airways to Lay Off 471 Pilots
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PITTSBURGH (AP) _ US Airways announced plans to lay off 471 more pilots by May to offset rising fuel costs and continued weakness in the airline industry.
The bankrupt airline previously said it would lay off 286 pilots by next month. The new cuts call for 326 layoffs by Jan. 7 and another 145 by May.
If all the furloughs go through, the Arlington, Va.-based airline will have trimmed about 1,800 of the 6,000 pilots it had before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
``They are cutting pilots to the point where it reaches people who have been here 15 years,″ said Roy Freundlich, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. ``That’s a tremendous hit when you cut like that.″
US Airways also plans to furlough 915 more flight attendants by December, although most would be voluntary. The airline, which had 10,000 flight attendants on Sept. 11, 2001, will have trimmed their ranks by 3,675 should the latest cuts go through.
Airline officials told creditors this week they would need to trim annual costs by up to $1.6 billion a year _ nearly $400 million more than previous estimates _ to return to profitability. US Airways also has reduced its fleet from 300 to 279 jets and has room under contracts to further reduce it to 245 planes.