Northwest Airlines announced today that it will recall approximately 135 furloughed technicians on a systemwide basis, beginning next month. This recall is part of the overall business plan for the airlineå‘s maintenance operations and represents incremental recovery from the effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“Northwest is pleased to announce these plans, resulting in the recall of approximately 135 of our furloughed employees,” said Andrew Roberts, senior vice president - Technical Operations.
Northwest reduced its flying schedule by approximately 20% following September 11, and furloughed employees in all major classifications. Although most operating groups, including management, suffered total reductions of between 15-19%, technician staffing was reduced by approximately 8%. Five Hundred and seventy-seven of 7,635 technicians were furloughed systemwide.
Today’s announcement includes a reorganization of the Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) maintenance operation that is consistent with the long-term strategy of focusing in-house resources on maintaining the airline’s new, advanced technology aircraft.
As a result of the impact of September 11, the company announced that certain older aircraft will be retired earlier than planned. This decision results in reduced technician requirements. Nonetheless, the 2002-2003 business plan does not call for any additional furloughs, and includes the recalls announced today. Specific changes include:
- MSP Maintenance Bay 6 will be closed in June 2002. The 250 technicians currently assigned to Bay 6 will be offered positions in other MSP hangars, or in line maintenance at MSP and throughout the system.
- MSP Maintenance Bay 5 technician positions will increase by more than 100 positions in order to decrease maintenance cycle time and thereby reduce future outsourcing.
- MSP Maintenance Bay 4 will become a “Utility Bay” capable of accommodating peak check requirements on NWA’s new advanced technology aircraft. This will result in the retention of maintenance work previously slated for outsourcing.
- Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. will be reinstated to its pre-September, 2001 size as a line maintenance station, with 46 new technician positions. The positions will be offered to technicians furloughed from DCA who have recall rights, and then be available to other technicians through the bidding process.
- Additional line maintenance positions will be established throughout the Northwest system in order to meet the projected increase in flying levels and improve on-time performance.
“The strategy of focusing in-house resources on our newer aircraft while outsourcing work on older airplanes, especially as they near retirement, is consistent with Northwest Airlines` long-term commitment to secure the company’s future, and that of its employees,” Roberts said.
Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam and more than 1,400 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents.