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US Airways to cut 600 jobs, close downtown Phoenix ticket office

usairways[Source: USA Today] — US Airways announced Tuesday that it will cut 600 jobs this fall because of the economy.  The Tempe, Arizona-based airline will shutter its US Airways Club at the Las Vegas airport as well as the city ticket office in downtown Phoenix, Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom said in a memo to employees.  In addition, Isom said, the company will reduce staff at the Phoenix US Airways Club and outsource ramp service functions in nine stations, most of which support US Airways Express regional airlines.

Citing sluggish demand and a decline in revenue, Isom said that the airline shrank its flight schedule last year and improved operational efficiency and that the US Airways staff is too large for the reduced schedule and other changes.  He said that the airline had hoped attrition would ease the overstaffing problem but that the number of staff members leaving or retiring had fallen off since last year.  “We find ourselves with more employees than our operations requires,” he said.  [Note: Read the full article at US Airways to cut 600 jobs, close downtown Phoenix ticket office]

Airline woes pinch Arizona, Phoenix tourism

[Source: Dawn Gilbertson, Arizona Republic] — Airline flight cuts and higher airfares this fall will bring fewer visitors to Arizona, delivering a punishing one-two punch to the state’s limping economy.  In Phoenix, more than 1 of 10 flights are gone from a year ago.  Nearly 70 daily departures have disappeared from Sky Harbor International Airport’s schedule, the equivalent of losing service from almost every major airline except US Airways and Southwest.

Fewer seats for sale means airlines can charge more.  Tickets for Phoenix flights departing in October are up an average 28 percent from a year ago, according to Farecast.live.com.  Flights to Boston and Chicago are each up 50 percent.  In a tourism hotbed where the majority of visitors arrive by plane, fewer flights and higher fares mean fewer customers for hotels, restaurants, spas, and golf courses.  At risk: A substantial slice of $19 billion in annual visitor spending in Arizona.  This comes after months of reduced numbers in hotel occupancy and airport traffic as people struggle with a plunging stock market, the housing meltdown and other economic woes.  “We know we’re in for a period of some rough times,” said Steve Moore, chief executive officer of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]