Updated from 12:36 p.m. EDT
United Airlines parent
has told a bankruptcy court it still needs more labor cuts in order to have a viable business.
The airline's lawyers said Friday in court that United intends to seek termination of its employee pension plans, as well as additional wage and benefit cuts. The airline would seek to replace existing pension plans with other retirement benefits and hopes to hammer out consensual agreements with employees in order to have savings in place by mid-January, a United said Monday.
United's unions have already agreed to large concessions since the airline entered bankruptcy protection in 2002.
UAL shares were unchanged at $1.01.
In a statement, the pilots union said it will resist wage and benefit concessions until United seeks cost savings from non-labor sources, noting that pilots have already made sacrifices and must by law retire at age 60.
"We fully understand the financial challenges facing the company as it seeks to exit from bankruptcy," the statement said. "It remains clear to us, however, that the company has not fully explored all non-labor cost savings before turning to its pilots and other employees for another bail-out. Neither has the company secured appropriate sacrifices from United's creditors, aircraft lessors or Star Alliance airline partners."
In response, an airline spokeswoman said, "We're looking at everything. We're continuing to look at costs all across the company."
United is seeking to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but like other airlines, it's struggling in an environment of record-high fuel prices, excess capacity and harsh price competition.
The carrier told the bankruptcy court Friday it now expects fuel costs this year to be more than $1.2 billion higher than planned.
This week, investors will get a chance to see how United's network airline peers fared in the third quarter.
reports results tomorrow, followed by American Airlines parent
Delta Air Lines
on Wednesday. Wall Street expects all of them to weigh in with losses.