TWA cuts routes, pay and staff

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The Independent Online
TRANS WORLD Airlines is ending all services to Moscow, Copenhagen, Istanbul and Stockholm from 25 October as part of a cost- cutting programme aimed at ensuring the survival of the troubled carrier.

The streamlining programme, which is being carried out in conjunction with a 15 per cent wage and benefits concession from employees, also includes the suspension of domestic services to eight cities in the US including Tucson and Salt Lake City. More narrow- bodied aircraft will be used instead of wide-bodied craft on the remaining network of 62 domestic and 18 international cities, while the TWA fleet will shrink from 187 to 167 aircraft by 25 October.

Tomorrow the US bankruptcy court will begin considering the TWA survival plan under which Carl Icahn, chairman, has agreed to cede control of the airline to creditors and employees, with the latter taking a 45 per cent stake in the carrier in return for wage and staff cuts.

Union members are preparing to vote on the package, which will entail lay-offs among TWA's 30,000 staff as a result of the route suspensions and new productivity targets.

Today the Airline Pilots Association begins a series of roadshows where presentations will be made to pilots prior to a vote later this month. It expects around 75 lay- offs among its 2,800 TWA pilots, but a spokesman said yesterday that the union hopes most will come from early retirement.