Midwest Express to Temporarily Lay Off at Least 450 Workers

Midwest Express Holdings said Tuesday it will temporarily lay off at least 450 employees because of a slowdown in the airline industry caused by terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The company also said it will reduce the number of flights and use smaller planes for some flights starting Oct. 1 to cut its capacity by at least 15 percent, spokeswoman Lisa Bailey said.

Midwest Express Holdings, based in suburban Milwaukee, operates Midwest Express Airlines and Skyway Airlines.

Other major carriers already have announced more than 26,000 layoffs because of a drop in air travel after last week's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Airlines such as American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United have scaled back their schedules by 20 percent.

Bailey said the company has not decided which markets or employees will be affected or for how long. Midwest Express flies to 48 cities.

Timothy E. Hoeksema, Midwest Express chairman and chief executive officer, said the decision was not made lightly.

"The economic reality is that we cannot continue to provide a full schedule of flights with less-than-acceptable passenger volume," he said in a statement.