American Airlines expects to cut nearly 7,000 employees by the end of the year, or about 8 percent of its worldwide work force, as it reduces flights and grounds aircraft because of high fuel costs, the airline told employees Wednesday.
American said in a regulatory filing that it expected to record a second-quarter charge of as much as $1.3-billion to account for the layoffs and to write down the value of the MD-80 and Embraer 135 regional jets that it is retiring as it eliminates flights.
In an e-mail memorandum to employees, Jeffrey J. Brundage, American's senior vice president for human resources, said the airline expected its job reductions to mirror the 8 percent cut in worldwide flights it plans by the end of the year.
American, the largest domestic carrier and a division of the AMR Corp., announced in May that it would cut flights by 11 to 12 percent in the United States, and by about 8 percent worldwide.
"While we are still working through the specific impact to employee work groups, both voluntary and involuntary, employee reductions commensurate with the overall system capacity reductions are expected companywide as we reduce the size of the airline," Brundage said in the memo.
American has about 85,500 employees, so an 8 percent cut would equal about 6,840 jobs. American previously has said that it plans to cut its management and support staff jobs by about 8 percent. The layoffs would be effective Aug. 31.
Airlines have been hit hard by a rise in the price of jet fuel, which is up more than 80 percent over 2007. They have raised fares, imposed surcharges and set new fees, like the $15 charge American began last month for many passengers to check a bag.
Airlines have said they plan to cut about 30,000 jobs this year. United Airlines said last month that it planned to eliminate 1,100 jobs. Continental Airlines also announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs.