American Airlines has unveiled plans to cut another 1,550 jobs, including 1,200 flight attendant positions, as it prepared to slash capacity by 7.5%.

The carrier's senior vice president for human resources, Jeff Brundage, tells employees in a message that American now expects 1,600 jobs will be affected by upcoming capacity reductions.

Brundage says only 50 of these job reductions - those involving the carrier's Kansas City maintenance base - were previously announced. The other new reductions include about 1,200 flight attendant, 300 airport services and 50 cargo positions.

American last week said it now plans to cut capacity by 7.5% year-over-year starting in late August. This compares to an earlier plan to cut capacity by 6.5%.

Brundage says the larger than planned capacity cut and job reductions are necessary due to the "extraordinarily challenging circumstances". He adds American needs to "right size" its operation in response to weakening demand for air travel.

"These are trying times in the airline industry and our economy," he says. "The recession has taken a disproportionate toll on airlines and there is no easy way to announce yet more bad news."

While American has already been planning for some time to further reduce capacity late this summer, Brundage says the job cuts are needed because attrition has been "lower than expected".

He says employees will be receiving more information on the new round of job cuts from their departmental managers over the next few weeks. "As always in these difficult circumstances, we will work closely with each department to minimize the impact on employees, including voluntary options for those affected," Brundage says.

But he warns that further job reductions beyond the 1,600 are possible as American has not yet completed analyzing "the full impact of these capacity cuts on jobs".

"Clearly, many financial trends point to a tough economic environment and continued challenges for the airline industry," he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news