Trans World Airlines (TWA) is to reduce its work force by some 1,000 people, with half the cuts being made in maintenance operations. The announcement comes as TWA reported a small loss in what was otherwise another quarter of healthy profits from major US carriers.

TWA says that the job cuts are in part caused by its fleet modernisation, including retirement of ageing Boeing 747s and Lockheed L-1011 TriStars, which has reduced its maintenance requirements. Some 250 jobs will be cut at TWA's Kansas City overhaul base, and 13 line-maintenance stations will be closed, with the loss of 200 jobs. Airport-operations and reservations staff will also be cut.

The airline is taking delivery of 20 Boeing 757s, 15 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s and at least one Boeing 767-300ER.

TWA is working to reduce the number of employees per aircraft to 118 or fewer, from 163 during its last period in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The airline now has 23,500 employees, down from 25,000 at the end of 1996, while its fleet has remained constant at around 190 aircraft.

TWA, meanwhile, has reported a net loss of over $14million for the second quarter, on revenues which were down by around 12%. Its cash balance dipped below $103million, down from $182million at the end of 1996. The airline blames declining yields, but is projecting a "healthy" third quarter following initiatives to attract high-yield business travellers.

Other of the major US carriers continued to report record net profits for the June quarter, led by the American Airlines group and Delta Air Lines, which both topped the $300 million mark. Collectively, the industry produced net profits of just over $1.4billion, slightly ahead of the same quarter in 1996. Continental and Northwest Airlines saw profits dip slightly, blaming the re-imposition of the federal ticket tax, high fuel prices and the strong dollar.

Source: Flight International