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US Airways' job cuts, flight reductions won't affect service at SLO airport

Struggling US Airways said on Wednesday it will cut some 1,000 jobs next year, shift nearly all of its flying to its three hubs and Washington, and suspend several international routes

It’s a major retrenchment, and Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said he hopes it gets the airline making money again.

Flights at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will not be directly affected by the US Airways staffing cutbacks and flight reductions, said Richard Howell, airport general manager. The airport is a regional hub for US Airways serviced by smaller Mesa Airlines aircraft, and the changes pertain to the US Airways main service line, which affects those airports accommodating larger jets.

US Airways Group Inc. said the job cuts will happen in the first half 2010 and will include 600 passenger and ramp service workers, 200 pilots, and about 150 flight attendants. The airline will close crew bases in Las Vegas and at LaGuardia airport in New York on Jan. 31, and in Boston on May 2.

It’s also scaling back international flying. It is suspending flying between Philadelphia and London Gatwick; Birmingham, England; Milan, Italy; Shannon, Ireland; and Stockholm. US Airways is also formally giving up its government permission to fly between Philadelphia and Beijing, which it had never used.

The carrier will drop flying in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Wichita, Kan. And it is trimming Las Vegas flights from 64 departures per day to 36.

Once the changes are made, US Airways Group Inc. will do 99 percent of its flying through three hubs in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Charlotte, N.C., as well as Washington, up from 93 percent now.

US Airways shares rose 9 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $3.23 in afternoon trading.

Tribune staff writer Julie Lynem contributed to this report.

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