US Airways asking hundreds of flight attendants to take leaves

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TEMPE -- Tempe-based US Airways is asking hundreds of flight attendants to take voluntary leaves of absence because of the faltering economy.

US Airways overstaffed

US Airways asking hundreds to take leaves - US Airways is asking hundreds of it flight attendants to take voluntary leaves of absence.

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US Airways CEO Doug Parker said the airline has not been this bad off since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

According to airline officials, several factors, including reduced attrition and fewer passengers flying, have contributed to the company's overstaffing situation.

The airline confirmed that it has sent out notices asking for 300 volunteers from Phoenix and Las Vegas and another 100 from the East Coast. The volunteers from Phoenix and Las Vegas reportedly are being asked to take off 16 months. The rest will be asked to take off August through November.

"These are difficult times and we don't make decisions like this lightly," said Hector Adler the airline's vice president of InFlight Services, in a statement. "I want to stress that we have waited as long as we could to address our overstaffing situation, hoping that attrition and other voluntary leave options would offset the need for today's action."

The airline is planning to meet with the flight attendants and their union.

US Airways is not the only airline that's struggling. American Airlines planes to eliminate 1,600 jobs. Some 1,200 of those let go will be flight attendants. Those cutbacks will begin in September, after the summer travel season. Last year, the Dallas-based airline cut more than 6,800 jobs. It currently has a work force of 67,000.