AirTran will shed 480 pilots and flight attendants in September, reducing the carrier’s total in-flight workforce by 14 percent. The announcement comes on the heels of company-wide salary cuts that will reduce pay by an average of 10 percent.
Along with the staff reductions, overall capacity on AirTran will decline by about five percent in September, though it’s not yet clear what cities or routes could be eliminated. One assumes Orlando is safe, given the city’s recently announced advertising agreement with the carrier.
Like so many airlines before it, AirTran blames the cuts on escalating fuel prices. Says a spokesman:
“It’s a necessary step that’s part of adapting to a more difficult economic environment. It is largely driven by fuel.”