The number of flights out of the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport in Brainerd has been reduced.
Mesaba Northwest Airlink manager Karen Skarolid said today that the two early morning flights out of the Brainerd airport -- the 7:12 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. flights -- have been canceled through September. Three inbound and outbound flights remain at 2:55 p.m., 4:44 p.m. and 6:50 p.m.
In October, there will be only two outbound and inbound flights -- at 7:12 a.m. and 4:50 p.m. -- with only one outbound flight at 4:50 p.m. on Sundays. This compares to the typical four to five flights per day that were offered before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Skarolid said the November flight schedule has not been made. There is also no word yet on whether Mesaba Northwest Airlink employees at the Brainerd airport will be laid off. Currently, Mesaba employs nine people in Brainerd, including a full-time manager, three full-time employees and five part-time employees.
Mesaba Airlines cut 30 percent of its officer and director level positions as it began trimming jobs as part of its previously announced 20 percent reduction in scheduled service.
The cuts are the result of reduced passenger demand and increased security costs following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Mesaba President and Chief Executive Paul Foley said Monday.
The airline is reviewing all of its expenses in light of the reduced service and is looking at voluntary and involuntary furloughs, reduction in hours, layoffs, attrition and freezing open jobs, Foley said.
Mesaba, which operates Airlink flights for Northwest Airlines, flew more than 800 flights a day and employed more than 3,700 people before the attacks. The Minneapolis-based carrier reduced its service by 20 percent on Sept. 18.
"Throughout this difficult time, Mesaba Airlines will continue to focus on safety, operational excellence and process improvements so the airline is in the best possible position when passenger demand returns," Foley said.
The other two carriers based in Minnesota, Eagan-based Northwest and Mendota Heights-based Sun Country Airlines, have made similar reductions in service and are in the process of cutting jobs.
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