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130 jobs to go at airline call centre

ALL 130 jobs at a Dublin call centre operated by American Airlines are being axed.

The airline confirmed that staff working at its European call centre here -- which the company opened about 15 years ago -- are being let go.

A spokeswoman for American Airlines said the jobs would be outsourced to another country where cheaper labour and other operating costs were available.

She added that no contract had yet been signed with an outsourcing firm, but that when it was, it would be up to that company to decide whether it wanted to offer jobs to any of the staff affected in Dublin.

American Airlines has entered a consultation period with the Communication Workers' Union and staff which is expected to last up to 30 days. The centre is likely to close soon after that.

The airline said that since it opened the Dublin facility, it had been an "important part" of its international operations.

"It was therefore a difficult decision to begin the evaluation process which has led to this week's announcement," it added.

American Airlines said that it had posted significant losses in recent years, particularly compared to its US-based competitors, which benefited from being able to reduce costs by entering bankruptcy.

"The result has been a concerted effort on reducing costs and finding efficiencies across all areas of the business," it said.

The company said it was "committed to helping mitigate" the impact of what it described as a "difficult situation" on employees, wherever possible. At one stage the American Airlines call centre in Dublin employed 250 people.

Irish Independent