Business & Finance

US Airways will announce a package of new austerity measures that include a 20 percent reduction in executive salaries, pay and benefits cuts for managers, and an unspecified number of layoffs, The Washington Post reported. The struggling carrier filed for bankruptcy Sept. 12, the second time it has done so in two years. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines will cut the pay of its executives, supervisors, and ticket and gate agents by 10 percent next year, chief executive Gerald Grinstein announced Tuesday. He said he'll decline the rest of his own salary this year. To try to avoid a bankruptcy filing, Delta also will cut retirement benefits and call for higher contributions by employees to their health insurance coverage. American Airlines, which also faces personnel challenges, announced it is recalling 600 furloughed flight attendants, effective Nov. 17, partly because of a projected increase in international flights in December.

ConocoPhillips outbid other suitors for a 7.6 percent share of Russia's OAO Lukos, the world's second-largest oil company in terms of reserves. ConocoPhillips will pay about $2 billion for the stake, which it will be permitted to raise to 20 percent under terms of the deal.

Cendant Corp. was expected to announce the purchase of Orbitz, the online travel site, as the Monitor went to press. The deal was being valued at $1.2 billion. Cendant, the world's largest hotel franchiser, reportedly views the acquisition as a way to direct reservations to its Ramada, Super 8, Howard Johnson, and Days Inn chains. Cendant is based in New York.

Nestlé, the Swiss food-marketing giant, withdrew the threat, issued last week, to sell off its premium Perrier bottled water business. But it warned that a decision not to stand in the way of more than 1,000 layoffs, reluctantly agreed to by a communist-backed labor union, now must be honored or "there's ultimately no reason" for Perrier to remain in the company fold.

In other layoff news:

• Motorola, completing the spinoff of its Freescale Semiconductor unit, said it will eliminate 1,000 jobs around the world by the end of the week.

• Computer Associates, a leading maker of corporate software, announced it will cut 800 jobs.

• Chemical manufacturer Lanxess Corp, spun off in July by pharmaceuticals giant Bayer Group, will move its Baytown, Texas, plant to Weifang, China, reports said. Baytown will lose 250 jobs in the process.

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