Continental Airlines today became the latest US carrier to slash its workforce and trim flights in the face of profit-busting fuel costs and an industry-wide slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reports today. The airline will cut its workforce by 3,000 jobs, scale back US departures by 16%, and aggressively trim its fleet of fuel-guzzling 737s. United and American also recently announced cutbacks.
Continental said it will reduce departures beginning in September, and will trim the workforce primarily through buyouts, although layoffs will also likely come into play. Continental plans to retire its 737-300s and 500s more rapidly; 67 planes will be taken out of service by 2009. Reduced capacity, airlines hope, will help them hold the line on higher ticket prices.