Comair cutting 520 crewmembers


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Delta Air Lines Inc.'s regional carrier Comair expects to cut more than 500 of its crew positions after the summer, as it follows through with previously announced plans to ground 14 of its 50-seater jets.

The Erlanger, Ky.-based airline estimates it will eliminate 300 pilot and 220 flight attendant positions. Comair employs about 6,400 in total, about 1,400 of whom are pilots.

In an e-mail, Comair spokeswoman Kate Marx said the carrier is still operating the 14 earmarked aircraft through the summer but that its flight schedule will decline significantly in September.

"We have steadily reduced non-crew staff since the beginning of the year," Marx said. "Because our pilot and flight attendant staffing is directly related to our flying, we need to adjust our crew complement for the fall."

Comair follows several other airlines that have been reducing their ranks as high fuel prices cause them to cut routes. AirTran Airways on July 7 said it would eliminate 300 attendant and 180 pilot positions, and United Airlines recently announced plans to cut 150 customer service and ramp jobs.

Employees were notified July 7 through a memo by President John Selvaggio. In it, he described this year as a "roller coaster."

"We have continued to support Delta's efforts to address sky-high fuel costs by becoming more efficient and reducing our overall cost structure," the memo stated. "We have demonstrated that our strength lies in the people of Comair, and in the coming months, we must remain flexible to keep ourselves poised to take advantages of future opportunities."

Comair in January said it would ground 14 of its 50-seater jets in 2008, after Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) cut its own domestic capacity by 5 percent in favor of overseas business. At the time, Comair would not identify how many of its employees would be affected. The move will prune Comair's fleet to 116 from 130 by the end of the year.

Man I thought I would be safe... Anyone know what date of hire the 300 pilots go back to, or when this will happen? The company email didnt seem to say.


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This is already being discussed in the 'Airline Pilot's section. 300 pilots goes back to January 22, 2007 hire.

hhhmmmmm, when was it i got hired...oh, think it was......CRAP, it was Jan 22, 2007! last i looked i sit #298, lol. ah well, roll with the punches.