View Full Version : Northwest Airlines is to cut 2,500 jobs

10th Jul 2008, 06:28
Northwest cuts jobs and ups fees
Minnesota-based Northwest Airlines is to cut 2,500 jobs because of the "unprecedented" rise in the cost of jet fuel, the company said.

BBC NEWS | Business | Northwest cuts jobs and ups fees (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7498801.stm)

10th Jul 2008, 17:47
As a long time pilot with several UK and EU airlines I can only see it getting worse. Luckily, I am soon to retire so I feel that I have been extremely lucky to have been employed continuously since I left school at 16.
If the USA is getting a cold, as they say, we follow soon after. But whatever happens in the USA matters not very much to the UK/EU markets today.
With a few notable and well financed and properly run exceptions, the next few years will see the loss of many, many aircrew/airline and associated jobs.
Recruitment and training will be the first to suffer, followed soon by job losses in the less efficient and poorly managed airlines.
Stopping expansion and route cut-backs will lead to severe contraction of fleets, the older, less efficient aircraft going first.
With fuel at twice the price it was two years ago, I cannot see a way back from the present situation, even if fuel prices stabilise, or even more unlikely, reduce again.
The public perception has changed considerably over the recent past. Airlines are seen as polluters, even if the numbers show that the contribution is only a small percentage of the total.
Demand for business and leisure travel will always exist but simply not anywhere near the current totals. The surcharges and tax on a ticket to Asia from UK now amounts to 65% of the total price. Not sustainable!
House price deflation, negative equity, tight borrowing, high unemployment, rapidly rising energy costs, tightening fuel supplies with expanding demand and falling stock markets all lead to the inevitable conclusion that we are heading for a massive correction in all aspects of modern life.
I will be pleasantly surprised, nay amazed, if 60% of the present capacity still operates in five years time.
If you have an alternative to flying, either as you approach the end of your flying career, or before you embark on it, then take it sooner, rather than later.
Good luck to us all.

10th Jul 2008, 19:48
While I would essentially agree with Rubik's premise; in the NWA case there may be a few additional causes. NWA may be painting its labor reduction as "economy" driven, but one can't help but wonder if it's also to make room for the people/departments/locations they'd prefer to retain for the merged DL/NW deal later this year. One also has to wonder who's left to lay-off in the modified NWA after the bankruptcy.

I would also agree that in years to come, the SLF who bitched so much about the airline fares this year, are going to look back fondly on this year as "the good old days" because if they don't like this years fares - they'll loathe what's coming - assuming they can still find an airline that flies where they want to go, when they want to go in order to complain about the fare.

Not sure I agree with the pollution anglethough; here in the US the airlines are viewed as providing an airborne version of Wal-Mart. If airline A is a buck cheaper than airline B - they get the business. Unfortunately, the Chinese haven't been able to manufacture US air miles, so the costs associated with US aviation haven't sunk to Wal-mart product levels.

I too have been fixing aircraft since I left school at 16, and like Rubik, I'm glad that I came in with the 747 Classic and went out with the 747 Classic. Todays plastic and gadget driven flying machines are unworthy of practical men.

Metro man
10th Jul 2008, 23:06
US airlines aren't exactly shining examples of worlds best practices. Obsolete aircraft, archacic working practices, companies that should be wound up unfairly protected by chapter 11.

The fuel price has really turned up the heat and those who can't adapt will go to the wall. Lean, efficient operations will survive and eventually prosper.

Me Myself
12th Jul 2008, 09:46
Totally agree with Rubik. Everyone is in denial here; air travel as mass transport is just as good as gone but of course no one wants to see it.
Airline travel will become what it used to be in the 50's and 60's, a mean of transport for the well off 's.
US media no short of new expressions have invented the " staycation " as opposed to " vacation ". A new concept that Europe is also strating to embrace.
2 years ago a full tank was getting you from paris to Marseille, today for the same price you go as far as Lyon.

Now, how many pilots is NW getting rid of ?

12th Jul 2008, 18:54
" Now, how many pilots is NW getting rid of ?"

NWA is projecting to park 33 DC9 series aircraft and 14 757/A319's. If fuel continues to climb then who knows.

ALPA asserts that it has negotiated enough early outs, special leaves, and reduced bid lines that there will be no furloughs associated with the departure of these aircraft.

12th Jul 2008, 19:21
O yes, a few bumps on the way.

The old saying was Air travel doubles every 10/15 years, this could still be the case in the longer term, but think it's in for a little dip from now until 5/10 years.

Apart from the credit crunch that will not be going away anytime soon, infact will prob get worse over the next 2/3 years, Green issues, Oil prices and instability at various locations in the world, it will all be ok.

Think I will pay off my credit cards and get a few lodgers in quick.

Good Luck to all in the Airline business.

Me Myself
12th Jul 2008, 19:46
No furlough ???? Not bad !! But how is it that UAL is sacking ..............950 guys. This is a mamoth amount !!

12th Jul 2008, 19:57
UAL is a bunch of winkers that's why....

13th Jul 2008, 00:35
But Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta (and former CEO of NW) says that there will be no job losses as a result of the merger between Delta and Northwest!!??

Yea, right.

Ignition Override
13th Jul 2008, 08:21
My question is which other US majors besides United will soon furlough pilots?
Notice that corporate America keeps it a secret as long as possible, to reduce the chance that people might steal from a company or find a job and quit early etc.
A bunch of really small airlines have shutdown and many more might be on the way, with little warning to their employees. And many regional jets have a very risky future. Many more will be parked fairly soon (their FOs who have less than 1,000 total hours and almost no PIC will probably be "up the creek without a paddle"). Our previous CEO stated years ago that the CRJ was never going to make money, but our regional affiliates were required to follow the industry trend.

It is not easy to look our new FOs in the eye and wonder whether they realize how thin the ice is which they 'skate on'.
I would prefer to tell them to look now for a back-up job, but maybe some already are searching.
This recession will get worse and could be rather permanent due to fuel prices etc.
Just wait until there is a military strike near or in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf.

Me Myself
13th Jul 2008, 18:49
Just read this very evening in the Sunday Times that George Bush was giving the " amber " light to the israelis to bomb Iran.
Couldn't we move that election a few months ???? I suspect something very stupid and very permanent is about to happen.