Union: American To Lay Off 323 Next Month

American Airlines, struggling with a slump in travel, will lay off 323 flight attendants on April 1, according to one of its unions.

The furloughs -- layoffs with recall rights -- affect some workers who were only recently recalled by the nation's second-largest airline operator after previous layoffs.

The number of furloughs might have been higher but for some employees taking leaves of absence or sharing jobs, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said in a message to its members Tuesday.

Spokesmen for American Airlines' parent AMR Corp. did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

American Airlines executives plan to cut the carrier's U.S. capacity 9 percent this year, but February traffic tumbled 13.5 percent from a year earlier. This week, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Horton said the Fort Worth-based airline is ready to cut more flights if the slump continues.

Fewer flights mean less need for flight attendants and other employees.

In afternoon trading, shares AMR Corp. rose 10 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $3.23. The stock is down 70 percent since the start of the year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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