United to Cut 70 More Guzzlers to Fight Fuel Costs

70-jet reduction will cut capacity, result in large layoffs
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2008 8:14 AM CDT
In this April 3, 2008 file photo, a United Airlines plane prepares to land at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco.    (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
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(Newser) – United Airlines will ground another 70 fuel-guzzling jetliners this year—on top of the 30 announced earlier—as it struggles to get a handle on rising fuel costs and slowing growth in air travel, reports the Wall Street Journal. The move will lead to a major reduction in routes and frequency of flights, helping it to fill a larger percentage of its planes. The company will also cut 1,400-1,600 jobs on top of the 500 released earlier.

United will also drop the all-coach Ted subbrand that serves domestic leisure destinations, and will add first-class cabins on some routes. The planes to be retired include 64 older 737s and six 747s, on top of the 30 aging 737s it had already pledged to take out of service. The carrier has 460 planes in its main fleet