FORT MYERS — American Airlines layoffs won’t affect flights or other service at Fort Myers and Miami airports, officials say.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline this week sent layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees but it shouldn’t affect American flights at Southwest Florida International Airport, said Barbara-Anne Urrutia, an airport spokeswoman.
Southwest Florida International has two daily American flights to and from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and two to and from Dallas-Fort Worth. In season, from December through March, that increases to four flights to and from Chicago and three arrivals and departures daily for Dallas, Urrutia said.
At Miami International, more than 1,300 of American’s 8,000 employees there were notified they could be replaced, said Greg Chin, an airport spokesman.
Even so, Miami International is one of the most profitable “hub” airports for American and passengers won’t be affected, he said.
Southwest Floridians and others choose Miami International because it has so many flights to Caribbean and Latin American destinations, Chin said.
American has about 600 total flights daily at Miami International, which is more than 70 percent of its 800 flights, he said.
“For the most part, the employees who would be laid off would be replaced or their positions would be outsourced,” Chin said. “The (job) functions would still exist.”
The layoff notices went to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as American goes through a bankruptcy restructuring.
American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks said this week that fewer than 40 percent of those getting notices will lose their jobs. Hicks said federal law requires the company to notify anyone whose position could change, including those who could get “bumped” by more-senior employees whose jobs are eliminated or outsourced.
American said in February that it planned to cut 14,000 jobs, including 13,000 held by union workers. But if Hicks is right, the final job losses will be about a third of that.
__ The Associated Press contributed to this report.