American Airlines to close Tucson call center

2012-04-18T14:23:00Z 2012-04-18T17:38:04Z American Airlines to close Tucson call centerBy David Wichner Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 18, 2012 2:23 pm  • 

American Airlines will close its regional reservations center in Tucson as part of a bankruptcy restructuring plan announced today, shedding about 700 local workers.

The airline says reservations representatives will be offered transfers to other centers or jobs as home-based representatives.

“We will avoid offshoring and preserve those jobs by offering employees the chance to transfer to other offices or become home-based representatives, just like the some 150 home-based representatives already in the Tucson area,” American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said in prepared remarks.

American Airlines opened its reservation center, at 3350 E. Valencia Road, in 1991 and by 1992 the center employed about 1,100 people.

American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November. AMR lost $2 billion last year, including restructuring costs, and has lost more than $10 billion since 2001.

The Tucson center closure is part of a larger plan to eliminate 1,200 nonunion jobs as it cuts costs while under bankruptcy protection.

That pushes the company's overall job-cut target to 14,200. It announced plans in February to cut 13,000 union pilots, flight attendants and ground workers, and make other cost reductions designed to slash annual labor costs by $1.25 billion.

American, the nation's third-biggest airline, has about 73,000 workers.

The changes for agents and similar employees are expected to save $95 million, which American said would match 20 percent cost-cutting targets for all other labor groups.

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