United plans to shutter three overseas flight attendant bases as international travel suffers

A Boeing 777-222(ER) passenger aircraft belonging to the United Airlines taking off at Hong Kong International Airport on August 08 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Marcio Rodrigo | Getty Images

United Airlines plans to shut three of its 4 international flight attendant bases in October as international air travel continues to battle due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chicago-based airline will shut bases in Hong Kong, Tokyo’s Narita airport and Frankfurt, in accordance to an organization memo seen by CNBC. United stated about 840 flight attendants work within the three bases which are closing.

“This was certainly a very difficult decision to make, and we recognize that closing any base places a hardship on those who live near those locations,” John Slater, United’s senior vice chairman of inflight companies, stated within the memo. “In the current and future environment, we simply are not able to sustain an Inflight Base at these locations.”

Flight attendants at these areas shall be given the possibility to switch to U.S. bases, relying on work eligibility, the memo stated.

United additionally has a flight attendant base for London’s Heathrow Airport and a base for U.S. territory Guam.

“While no other base changes are anticipated [at] this time, we’ll continue to evaluate the viability of all locations based on the network schedule, government travel restrictions and restoration of demand,” stated Slater.

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