Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spirit outsources baggage-handling jobs at Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey

Spirit Airlines has hired an outside contractor to take over its baggage handling at Atlantic City International Airport — a cost-cutting move that mirrors what the discount carrier has been doing at airports across the country.

Landmark Aviation, the contractor, agreed to give hiring preference to the 33 former Spirit baggage handlers affected by the switch. Of that number, 18 applied for jobs, 17 were offered positions and 13 joined Landmark, Spirit spokesman Paul Berry said.

There were also four ramp supervisors who had been part of Spirit’s baggage-handling operations. However, all of them chose to retire or decided not to jump to Landmark, Berry said.

Earlier this year, Spirit also outsourced the jobs of its ticketing agents and customer-service representatives at Atlantic City International to Landmark. In all, 38 former Spirit employees were affected by that change.

Landmark spokeswoman Amanda Hoffman could not immediately say Tuesday whether the former Spirit employees are receiving the same wages and benefits at their new company.

Houston-based Landmark also is the owner and operator of the general aviation hangar at Atlantic City International. In that role, Landmark is in charge of ground services, fuel sales, and maintenance and repairs for aircraft ranging from small planes to large commercial airliners.

Spirit is Atlantic City’s dominant airline. In the past year, Spirit has been outsourcing its customer-service jobs and baggage-handling positions at all of its airports across the country, except for its largest station at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, Berry said. He stated that the switch at Atlantic City International “made sense” both financially and for Spirit’s operations.

“Having Landmark take over ramp operations offers a much more efficient and cost-effective solution at Atlantic City International,” Berry wrote in an email. “The change was seamless for our customers, and because so many original Spirit employees made the transition, it was seamless for our operations.”

Outsourcing has become a popular cost-savings trend in the aviation industry in recent years. Spirit, United and Frontier are among the big-name airlines to do it. Berry said outsourcing is a key part of Spirit’s strategy to contain operating costs and pass on those savings to passengers in the form of lower ticket prices.

“Keeping our costs low is how we can offer the lowest fares in the industry,” he said.

Source:  http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

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