September 25, 2008

United Airlines Cancels Furlough Plan

United Airlines in Chicago said Thursday it canceled plans to furlough 1,550 flight attendants as voluntary departures had reduced staff numbers sufficiently.

Employees opted for voluntary, unpaid leaves, which would allow them to keep their seniority ranking, healthcare insurance and travel benefits, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

The planned furloughs were part of a United plan to reduce 7,000 jobs and reduce its fleet by 20 percent as a reaction to rising fuel costs, the Tribune reported.

United said it will still close flight attendant bases in Singapore and Bangkok. The carrier is contractually obligated to furlough foreign national employees before reducing its domestic work staff, the Tribune said.