United Continental Shifts Jobs to Trim Costs - Analyst Blog

By
A A A

United Airlines, the wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings Inc. ( UAL ), is outsourcing more than 630 jobs across 12 airports in the U.S., to curtail costs and improve profitability. The market reacted negatively to the news, with the company's stock closing the day 3.16% lower on NYSE.

The worst affected employees in this scenario will be the gate agents, the baggage handlers and the customer service associates working at airports in Salt Lake City, Detroit, Iowa, Texas, El Paso, Kansas, Pensacola, Ohio, New Mexico, New York and North and South Carolina.

United Airlines will hire third-party firms to take care of the work at airports, thus reducing its financial obligations to some extent. The carrier currently pays as much as $24 per hour for the work, which it expects will reduce considerably under the outsourced model.

According to United Airlines, such cost saving moves will allow it to remain competitive. However, the Chicago-based carrier will take back about 400 jobs that were earlier outsourced at Phoenix, Denver, Honolulu and Washington airports.

For quite some time now, passenger carriers have been offloading airport jobs in a bid to gain cost competitiveness. Companies like American Airlines Inc. ( AAL ), Delta Airlines Inc. ( DAL ) and Alaska Airlines Inc. ( ALK ) have already shifted much of their airports job roles to third party organizations to reduce their expenses. Notably, American Airlines and Delta Airlines have their own subsidiary companies to cater to airport jobs. United Airlines, however, suffers in this regard.

The move does not come as a surprise. It is part of the restructuring efforts that the carrier intends to put in place in order to revive its fortune. Since last year, United Airlines has outsourced nearly 500 jobs in various U.S. and Canadian airports and has even announced the closure of its hub at Cleveland airport. The carrier reported lackluster first-quarter 2014 results losing $1.33 per share owing to a severe winter.

We believe that although this initiative will allow the carrier to cut down on its operating costs, it will simultaneously put United Airlines at the risk of inefficient customer service. Outsourced employees will not only suffer from lower wages, but will also be deprived of health coverage and travel benefits that they have been receiving on the airline's pay roll. This can translate into hurdles for the company in the course of delivering quality customer service, leading to passenger churns.

United Continental currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

DELTA AIR LINES (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

UNITED CONT HLD (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report


AMER AIRLINES (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALASKA AIR GRP (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.




This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: DAL , UAL , AAL , ALK

Zacks.com

Zacks.com

More from Zacks.com:

Related Videos

What to Wear to a Wedding
What to Wear to a Wedding           
4th of July Outfits
4th of July Outfits                 

Stocks

Referenced

Most Active by Volume

62,287,287
  • $17.03 ▼ 1.10%
26,194,993
  • $30.555 ▲ 1.24%
26,150,957
  • $126.44 ▼ 0.13%
25,197,634
  • $40.59 ▼ 6.26%
25,192,083
  • $19.07 ▲ 1.54%
24,563,617
  • $26.78 ▲ 0.45%
24,474,256
  • $5.85 ▲ 1.56%
24,111,132
  • $8.83 ▲ 2.08%
As of 7/2/2015, 04:15 PM

Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Search
Data Provided by BankRate.com