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Continental Airlines to Close Tampa Reservations Center

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Continental Airlines has confirmed it is to eliminate approximately 500 positions in its reservations department and close its Tampa Reservations Center effective July 19, 2009.

“We must make these changes to adapt to changing customer preferences toward the web,” stated Reservations and eCommerce VP Martin Hand in an employee bulletin. “Adding to the structural decline in call volumes caused by the web has been the effect of the global recession, which has resulted in fewer calls into our reservations centers.”

The company says it is offering a number of voluntary programs to employees, including an early-out severance program and Company Offered Leaves of Absence (COLAs). In addition, Tampa Reservations agents who otherwise would not be furloughed will have the option of transferring to other reservations centers located in Houston and Salt Lake City.

The airline said it would also offer outplacement services at all three Reservations centers and relocation assistance to affected employees.

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