January 22, 2009

United Airlines to lay off 1,000

U.S. carrier United Airlines said it lost $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter and announced plans to lay off 1,000 salaried staff in 2009.

The airline, based in Chicago, has experienced double-digit declines in first- and business-class ticket sales, as the recession has prompted many businesses to buy their tickets in economy seating, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Tague said, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

A major share of the airline's losses came from hedged fuel contracts, the newspaper said.

Excluding fuel and other unusual charges, the airline lost $547 million in the quarter, the Tribune said.