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United Airlines to cut 71 jobs at Charlotte airport

United Airlines plans to cut 71 jobs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, as the company seeks to cut costs and boost its profitability through outsourcing.

The job cuts, which affect United’s airport operations positions such as ticket agents, will take effect Oct. 1.

“This was a difficult decision, but we need to ensure that our costs are competitive,” said United spokesman Luke Punzenberger. United has previously said it will outsource much of the work being done by laid-off employees in Charlotte to save money.

United is working to catch up with rivals American Airlines and Delta Air Lines in the wake of its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines. Last month, United reported a $919 million profit, one of its best quarters since struggling with losses and problems combining the two companies.

Charlotte Douglas isn’t the only airport where United is trimming costs and workers. United is laying off 430 workers in Cleveland as it dismantles its hub there. And nationwide, the airline is contracting out more than 600 airport operations jobs, such as those in Charlotte, at a dozen airports to lower-cost, nonunion employees.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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