AirTran Airways said Monday July 7th that it would eliminate 480 pilot and flight attendant jobs, joining a growing list of airlines that have cut their work forces in the face of high fuel prices
AirTran, a low-fare airline based in Orlando, also said it expected to reduce its capacity by 5 percent in 2008. It previously had predicted that its flights would grow by 10 percent this year, so the announcement represents a 15 percent reversal in its capacity over all.
The airline said it would cut 180 of its 1,480 pilots and 300 of its 2,000 flight attendants. AirTran is still reviewing other positions at the airline for possible cuts, said Kevin Healy, the airline’s senior vice president for marketing and planning. It has 9,000 employees.
Abysmal leadership practices and managements unwillingness to foster good working relations with its employees will soon take its toll on customer care and the airlines bottom line.
Currently two of the three major employee groups are up for new contracts (pilots and flight attendants) with the third (mechanics) up for a new contract early next year. The pilots have been working without a contract for nearly five years.
If employee relations and moral do not improve in the near future, the airline may see a stormy road ahead.