US Airways to lay off 890 flight attendants

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- US Airways will lay off 890 flight attendants in May and June as a result of the war in Iraq and other cost-cutting moves, the airline said.
The layoffs affect flight attendants at the airline's hubs in Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as well as in Washington, New York and Boston, where the airline has a heavy presence. The cuts amount to 3 percent of its work force.
The airline this week informed the flight attendants' union and the affected cities of the layoffs, airline spokesman David Castelveter said Thursday. US Airways emerged from bankruptcy protection at the end of March.
The layoffs stem from three factors, Castelveter said.
First, the Iraq war forced the airline to cut its flight schedule by about 4 percent.
Some senior employees who had been on voluntary furlough are coming back to work, forcing involuntary furloughs on those with less seniority.
Finally, the airline is cutting back its staffing on flights to the minimum amounts required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Castelveter said the extra flight attendants are no longer needed on flights that used to have meal service but now only offer beverages.
The previous contract with flight attendants required staffing above the FAA minimum, but the airline was able to renegotiate that provision while it was in bankruptcy.
The layoffs include many flight attendants who already were taking voluntary furlough. Dawn Deeks, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, estimated that about half of those receiving furlough notice already were on voluntary leave.