Milwaukee, April 16, 2008 – Midwest Airlines has outlined a comprehensive plan to increase revenues and reduce costs in the face of high fuel prices that have been buffeting the airline industry.
“Midwest Airlines is not immune to the staggering impact that fuel prices are having on the U.S. airline industry,” Timothy E. Hoeksema, chairman and chief executive officer, told employees in a series of meetings held Tuesday. “We have witnessed a number of airline bankruptcies, as well as route and staffing reductions by other airlines, in the past several months. The actions we’re taking today will enable us to maximize revenues, reduce our cost structure, provide for sufficient cash and help us weather this storm, moving forward. These decisions, while difficult, are necessary to keep us strong in this turbulent time for the airline industry.”
He said the plan has four basic elements: strategic capacity/flight schedule adjustments; revenue enhancement initiatives; labor cost reductions; and productivity enhancements.
Hoeksema said capacity reductions reflect a “common sense trimming back” of flight frequencies. The adjustment represents about a 2.5 percent reduction of the airline’s available seat miles from 2007. “We remain committed to our core business routes,” he said. Specific schedule adjustments will be published in the normal course of business and available through booking channels early next week.
Revenue initiatives include the debut this fall of the “Midwest Class” seating choice program on the Boeing 717 fleet and the next scheduled phase-in of the Northwest codeshare program.
Labor reductions will affect 109 Midwest employees – about 3.5 percent – including 35 pilots who will be furloughed.
Productivity improvements will include efforts to decrease fuel consumption such as reducing weight on planes, restructuring various departments to remove redundant processes, and improving operational reliability elements such as on-time performance and baggage mishandles.
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Midwest Airlines features jet service throughout the United States, including Milwaukee’s most daily nonstop flights and best schedule to major destinations. Catering to business travelers and discerning leisure travelers, the airline earned its reputation as “The best care in the air” by providing passengers with impeccable service and onboard amenities at competitive fares. More information is available at http://www.midwestairlines.com.