United Air Lines To Lay Off 950 Pilots
United Air Lines will reduce its fleet by 100 aircraft, putting 950 pilots out of work, the company said on Monday. "This process is one of the difficult but necessary steps we need to take to size our business appropriately to reflect the current market reality," the company said in a memo to pilots. By the end of next year, United plans to cut 94 B737s and six B747s from its fleet. While United is the first major U.S. airline to cut flight crews in response to the current economic woes, USA Today says it may not be the last. The newspaper cites a recent study that predicts if oil prices remain at the current $130 to $140 per barrel, about 11,500 pilot jobs will likely be lost.
Last week, hundreds of United workers rallied in protest of the airline's decision to set aside stock worth about $130 million for a new incentive plan for executives, while at the same time the company plans to cut routes and lay off up to 1,600 employees, USA Today reported.