Houston: US-based Continental Airlines is slashing 1,700 jobs following a drop in passenger numbers during the summer season amid a quarterly loss of $214 million reported between April and June.
“We must take aggressive steps to increase revenue and reduce costs,” said Continental Airlines chief executive officer, Larry Kellner, who is stepping down on 1 January and will be succeeded by president and chief operating officer Jeff Smisek.
The job reductions and fee changes will produce $100 million in annual benefits when fully implemented next year, the fourth-largest US air-carrier said on Thursday.
The job cuts, which represent 3.9% of Continental’s workforce, reflect the pressure on the industry from the collapse of business travel in the recession and fare sales to fill planes.
The reductions are on top of 1,200 eliminated positions the carrier has announced since May.
Besides, the carrier will add $5 to checked-bag fees for customers who do not prepay online and increase by $5 the cost to make a telephone reservation.
Continental’s quarterly loss was its seventh in a row.
The Houston-based carrier had previously cut 500 jobs for reservation agents when it shut Florida call centre last week.
It had given leave of absence to 700 flight attendants. The carrier cut 3,000 jobs in 2008 as fuel prices rose to record highs.