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Airline Lays Off 500 To Farm Out Major Maintenance

December 3, 1995

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ America West Airlines is laying off 500 workers, including half of its mechanics, and will have major aircraft maintenance performed by a contractor, the company announced.

Airline officials denied rumors that it was considering a merger with another airline in connection with the layoffs, which are expected to save America West $35 million over five years.

``We usually do not comment on rumors but because of the level of speculation this time, we are saying we are not,″ Mike Vescuso, senior vice president of human resources, said Saturday.

The airline began notifying employees of the layoffs on Friday.

Major maintenance will be performed by Tramco of Everett, Wash., a division of BF Goodrich Co., which has handled some work for America West for two years, the company said.

Before Friday’s layoffs, America West had nearly 11,000 employees. Its work force peaked at 15,000 in 1991 but was trimmed sharply after the airline encountered financial problems and filed for reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws. It emerged with reorganization in August 1994.

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