United Undertakes Efficiency Moves

In United Airlines' plan to return to profitability, the airline is working to reduce its average "turn time"—the time the aircraft is parked at the gate between flights—by eight minutes. That's expected to free up at least 10 aircraft in 2006 to operate other flights and allow United's existing gates to handle more flights per day, reducing overall gate requirements. By using assets more efficiently, United can increase departures without adding more aircraft to the fleet, according to Pete McDonald, executive vice president and COO. He said that will also mean more frequencies between cities, new destinations and even better connections. United is also revamping operational procedures including reducing taxi-out time for aircraft; the new operational measures will be tested on all Ted flights this month and implemented throughout United's system by late 2006. In addition, United has eliminated or relocated to a lower cost locale some 60 administrative offices, aircraft gates, and cargo and maintenance facilities.

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