United Airlines is assessing how to make itself much smaller in the future, because executives have noted that they expect demand for air travel will take years to recover. In addition to staff cuts, it is currently considering closing one or more of its eight hubs.
“We have no plans to close the hub. But when we say everything is on the table, we mean everything. There are no sacred cows,” US President Scott Kirby said when asked during a conference call with analysts about the possibility of closing the hub. .
United, American and Delta have built their entire network around a series of hubs, so closing one or more will be very annoying. But that is another sign of how much demand for air travel has swooped.
Hub United are located in Chicago O’Hare, Denver International, Houston / George Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International, Washington Dulles International Airport and Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam.
Around 20,000 United employees have agreed to leave voluntarily without leaves. Unofficial leave or layoffs are prohibited before October 1, provided federal bailouts are accepted by United and other airlines. But permanent and unintentional staff cuts are likely to occur after October 1 without a significant rebound in travel requests, Kirby said.
Before that date, however, United hoped to offer its employees a purchase and early retirement package at some point in May to permanently reduce staff before October 1, said American Communications Officer Josh Earnest.