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Reno airport lays off more employees, fears flight losses Печать E-mail
Новости - Зарубежные новости
Автор: Newsmaster   
08.01.2009 00:57
RENO — Reno-Tahoe International Airport, where passenger traffic and the number of flights dropped dramatically in 2008, announced the layoffs of 11 more employees Monday.

The layoffs are part of $2.5 million in budget cuts, with many salaries and positions frozen. Some buyouts will be offered, airport officials said.

Management, professional and firefighting division salaries will be frozen for 18 months, said Brian Kulpin, airport public affairs manager.

The layoffs also come about four months after 11 passenger aides also lost jobs at the airport.

"This has been a hard day for us today," Kulpin said. "We have a very family-type culture here, and these layoffs are difficult for us because we know these people and we have worked together very closely with them."

Those laid off will remain on the job for 30 to 90 days, depending on collective bargaining agreements and employment rules, airport officials said.

The layoffs and budget cuts were necessary because of decreases in revenue, airport officials said.

The airport operates on revenue generated by leases, concessions, gaming and airline fees, receiving no local tax money.

The airport had a nearly 25% drop in passenger traffic in November compared with the same month of 2007, the largest single-month drop since October 2001, the month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Passenger volume in 2008 was less than in 2007 and 2006 for every month except one.

"It is a direct result that our revenues are dropping because our passenger statistics are so far down," Kulpin said.

Of equal concern is the drop in the load factor, the percentage of empty seats on an airplane.

Reno's load factors for the major carriers — Southwest, United, American and Delta — are 9% to 10% below system averages and that could lead to the loss of more flights.

"(Planes) are going out of here with empty seats," said Tom Medland, director of air service business development. "The community and this region are not filling the existing seats we have in the market. And keep in mind, this is after they took out 17 flights and 1,500 seats (last year)."

The airport is expected to lose three more Southwest flights and an American Airlines flight by May.

"(Airline carriers) are saying that they are seeing a very soft summer period (for Reno), and that is significant because the summer is the peak for any airline," Medland said.

"If things get worse in the first quarter ... you will see airlines take action. Even if they have their schedules published, they will reduce their schedules even more."

Kulpin issued a "call to action."

"We need to get people back to flying," he said.

"And that is a tough thing to tell people right now because they are holding onto their dollars. But for the sake of all of us in the long run, we need a viable and healthy airport bringing people into the region to keep a lot of people employed."

The Reno Gazette-Journal is owned by Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY.

Найдено в интернете: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~r/UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories/~3/wENK7vZJ5as/2009-01-07-reno-airport-layoffs_N.htm

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