WASHINGTON — US AIR said it will furlough more than 3,500 employees in a major restructuring brought on by higher fuel costs and the recession's negative effect on air travel. ``USAir is being restructured to survive and to be in position to rebuild for the future,'' Seth Schofield, the airline's president and chief operating officer, said Monday.
The reorganization, which will be spread over the next few months, will involve closing four of the airline's 12 flight-crew bases, a maintenance facility, and a reservation office, USAir said.
The airline said the restructuring would result in the ``furlough'' of 3,585 employees, including about 660 pilots, 540 flight attendants, 505 maintenance and utility workers, 1,300 customer-service agents, 305 reservations agents, and 275 staff members and managers.
Mr. Schofield told employees the restructuring was prompted by rising costs and the slowing United States economy, which has reduced the number of passengers.
``The airline industry has been heavily impacted by the recessionary economy,'' he said in a statement. ``Today's airline environment is marked by slumping traffic and sharply higher operating costs, particularly in the price of jet fuel.''
The airline will trim its number of daily flights to 2,626 from 2,894 on May 2.
The restructuring will close flight-crew bases in Miami; Greensboro, N.C.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and San Diego.
Also to be closed are a maintenance facility in Utica, N.Y., and a reservation office in Reston, Va.
The airline said 305 reservation agents assigned to the Reston facility will be either furloughed or given the opportunity for reassignment, according to seniority and company policy.
The 242 employees assigned to the Utica maintenance base also will be given the opportunity for reassignment. Work now done at the Utica base will be moved to USAir's main base at Pittsburgh.
The 97 pilots and 221 flight attendants assigned to Greensboro also will be given the opportunity for reassignment, as will be the 68 pilots and 70 flight attendants now assigned to Miami.
USAir also announced it will expand service at its hubs in Pittsburgh; Charlotte, N.C.; and Philadelphia.