MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Northwest Airlines will recall 670 people to work at flight gates and ground crews through the peak summer travel months.
It's the airline's biggest recall since it lopped off 10,000 of its 53,000 jobs in September, responding to the turndown in air travel after the terrorism attacks.
The full- and part-time workers involved in the recall, which was announced Monday, will have their jobs from June 1 to Sept. 1. A few will be kept on permanently.
Most of the jobs will be at Northwest's hub airports in the Twin Cities, Detroit and Memphis. The airline will also recall ground workers to international gateways such San Francisco and Boston.
"I'm very happy that they are having that kind of recall," said Kip Hedges, president of Local 1833 of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers.
The airline will make further staffing decisions based on how capacity and demand develop in the fall.
Northwest anticipates passenger capacity in the third quarter will be down 5 percent from year-ago levels, an improvement from the 11 percent drop in the second quarter, spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said.
The airline reduced capacity 20 percent and eliminated the 10,000 jobs shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Northwest has since recalled 312 part-time reservations agents, added 500 ground jobs and reduced the number of furloughed pilots by 360 to 550 out of a base of 6,500.
The airline employed about 45,000 at the end of March.
Hedges said he wished the people were being called back to permanent jobs.
"We had some more people come back just recently, and it's made a little bit of difference," said Hedges, a baggage handler for the airline at the Twin Cities airport. "For the first three months of the year, things were pretty rough. People were really stretched to the limit."
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