American Airlines plans to cut 1,200 airport baggage, cargo jobs

American Airlines will cut 1,200 airport baggage and cargo jobs and close an Arizona reservations center under a bankruptcy restructuring plan to trim annual labor spending by $1.25 billion.

All the carrier’s jobs at airports in Ontario, six other U.S. cities and two cities in Canada will be outsourced. AMR Corp.'s American detailed changes for nonunion workers 11 weeks after telling other workers it would do away with 13,000 of their jobs, freeze pensions and make work-rule and benefit changes.

American, the third-biggest U.S. carrier, will begin presenting testimony April 23 to persuade a bankruptcy judge to let it void existing union contracts and impose new ones to secure the spending cuts. The request follows the Fort Worth airline’s failure to negotiate agreements with any of its unions. Talks can continue during the court hearings.

“Not a single decision that affects a single employee was made lightly,” the company said in a letter signed by Craig Kreeger, senior vice president for customer experience; Virasb Vahidi, senior vice president for marketing and planning; and Jim Ream, senior vice president for operations.


American’s goal to cut annual expenses 20% for each work group translates to a $95-million reduction for the 10,000 airport and cargo agents. Most of the changes will occur during the next 60 to 120 days, the airline said.

The company will outsource all jobs at airports with the fewest daily flights. Those facilities in the U.S. are in or near Ontario and Sacramento in California; Hartford, Conn.; Columbus, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; and Reno. In Canada, they are in Calgary and Vancouver.

American will close Admirals Clubs at Dulles International Airport in Washington, in Kansas City, Mo., and elsewhere.