September 12, 2008

Alaska Air to Cut 850-1,000 Jobs

Alaska Airlines, based in Seattle, said Friday it plans to shed between 850 and 1,000 jobs starting in November.

The cuts will affect all areas -- pilots, aircraft technicians, customer representatives, flight attendants and ramp workers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The layoffs would take effect through early 2009, said Alaska Air Group Inc., which owns both Alaska and Horizon airlines.

"The one-two punch of record oil prices and a softening economy, on top of increased competition, has burdened Alaska Air Group with a $50 million loss on an adjusted basis for the first half of this year," Bill Ayer, chairman and chief executive of Alaska Air Group, said in a statement.

Alaska Airlines eliminated 80 non-unionized management positions in August.

The company said it has taken a number of steps to improve profitability and save money, including increasing fares and fees; charging for a second checked bag, taking steps to reduce fuel consumption, and deferring or eliminating numerous projects and capital spending.