United Airlines confirmed that it was closing its call centre in India and transferring 165 jobs to the United States, which is reeling from layoffs amid recession.
The move came about a month after UAL Corp, parent of the third biggest North American carrier, said it was cutting 1,000 more jobs, pushing the total to 9,000 by year’s end, to help stem losses.
The jobs in India will be transferred to call centres in Chicago and Honolulu, Hawaii, and filled by workers who now handle reservations, the Chicago-based airline said.
Beginning in April, it said the workers will add customer-relations duties, which involve issues or complaints after travel, said Robin Urbanski, airline spokeswoman.
“More sophisticated conversations with our guests are much better-suited for us to handle instead of a third-party partner,” Urbanski said.
United Airlines shipped the call centre positions to India about three years ago as part of a trend by US companies to move such functions overseas to save costs.