CHICAGO, Nov. 11 -- United Airlines has reached a tentative cost-cutting agreement with its flight attendants union as part of an effort to avoid bankruptcy, the carrier announced today.
Terms of the agreement were not released. United said the agreement was in line with the airline's plan to achieve $5.8 billion in labor cutbacks with its flight attendants and machinists. The reductions are key to its application for a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee, which it says is needed to avoid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
"United continues to make great progress toward implementing its financial recovery program," United's chief executive and chairman, Glenn Tilton, said in a statement.
United spokesman Joe Hopkins would not discuss details of the agreement, other than to confirm it includes wage cuts. The deal still must be ratified by members of the Association of Flight Attendants and the company's board.
A spokesman for the flight attendants' union did not immediately return phone calls tonight.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which already has reached a $2.2 billion wage-cutting deal with United, issued a statement praising the cooperation.
"We applaud the AFA and the company for their hard work and sacrifices in getting a deal done," said Paul Whiteford, chairman of the pilots' union's United Airlines master Executive Council.
If the flight attendants ratify a deal, United's machinists and flight dispatchers unions would be the only ones without a cost-cutting agreement.