Thursday, May 30, 2002

United Airlines will close
3 sales outlets in Hawaii

By Tim Ruel

United Airlines is eliminating three of its four Hawaii ticket sales outlets as part of an industry move to cut costs, a spokesman said yesterday.

Three of United's Hawaii ticket offices are on Oahu -- at Ala Moana Center, Pearlridge and Bishop Square -- and one is on Maui at the Kahului Office Center. The three will close by mid-July, though United has not decided which office it will keep, spokesman Joe Hopkins said.

A total of 25 employees work at the four offices, and it is not clear how many workers will continue to work for the sole remaining office, or how many employees could lose their jobs, Hopkins said.

Major airlines have been attempting to control costs in the face of major losses that started during the recent recession and got worse after the Sept. 11 hijackings. United's Chicago-based parent UAL Corp. had a net loss of $510 million in the first quarter, a 67 percent increase from a loss of $305 million in the previous year.

Between August 1999 and December 2001, United cut its total ticket offices nationwide nearly in half, to 59 from 117, Hopkins said. "You have new technology, a lot of people now have e-tickets," Hopkins said.

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