More Cutbacks Coming, Too
Another week... another round of airline cutbacks. The Midwest
Air Group, parent company of struggling Midwest Airlines, announced
Monday it will cut back its operations by close to one-third,
ending service to 11 cities to reduce capacity in the face of high
Three cities will lose mainline Midwest service, reports The New
York Times. Two of those destinations are in Florida, Fort
Lauderdale and Fort Meyers. Service to San Diego, CA will also be
cut. Those suspensions come on the heels of previously announced
cuts to Austin, TX; Charlotte, NC; Colorado Springs; and Duluth,
Eight more cities -- including Baltimore, San Antonio, and St.
Louis -- will lose Midwest Connection regional service on September
8. Midwest will also end daily service to Orlando, FL from
Milwaukee, though the carrier will continue seasonal (read,
snowbird) service to MCO from October to April.
Midwest is also scaling back its direct route network to
destinations it will continue to serve. For flights to Los Angeles
and Seattle, the airline will now route flights through Kansas
City, as it already does for flights to San Francisco.
The cutbacks are the latest in a series of sweeping cost-cutting
measures from Midwest, since it was acquired by a group headed by
private equity firm TPG and Northwest Airlines earlier this
Midwest grounded its entire 12-plane fleet of McDonnell-Douglas
MD-81s last month, leaving it with a smaller -- but more
fuel-efficient -- fleet of 25 Boeing 717s.
Last week, Midwest announced plans to
drastically slash its workforce, reducing employee ranks at Midwest
Airlines and its Skyway regional subsidiary by about 1,200 jobs, or
40 percent of current staffing levels.