Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Midwest Airlines to lay off 109, cut back schedule

The Business Journal of Milwaukee

Midwest Airlines confirmed Wednesday that it will lay off 35 pilots and 74 other employees -- and cut the frequency of certain flights -- to counter rising fuel costs.

"Midwest Airlines is not immune to the staggering impact that fuel prices are having on the U.S. airline industry," Midwest chairman and CEO Timothy Hoeksema told employees Tuesday, according to a Wednesday press release.

"The actions we are taking today will enable us to maximize revenues, reduce our cost structure, provide for efficient cash and help us weather this storm, moving forward."

The Oak Creek-based airline also is seeking to cut costs by reducing weight on planes -- so less fuel is burned -- restructuring various departments to remove redundancies, and improving on-time performance and baggage handling.

The changes also involve an initiative called "Midwest Class," a seating choice program to debut this fall on the Boeing 717 fleet that allows passengers a chance to upgrade their seats for a higher ticket price. The program is expected to boost revenue.

Last week, the company told its pilots union that 35 pilots will be laid off under a revision of the flight schedule and that 22 will receive position and pay downgrades, according to Paul Sweet, a first officer with Midwest and a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association.

On Wednesday, Midwest confirmed the pilot layoffs, and released additional information.

1 comment:

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