Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Delta to close call centers, bring jobs back to the U.S.

Delta Air Lines Inc. will shutter call centers in Montreal and London next year, and move some of those jobs back to the United States in a measure to improve efficiency, airline officials confirmed Monday.

The closures are part of an alignment of call centers among SkyTeam members Delta and Air France-KLM Group.

It is not yet clear where in the U.S. the call agents will be housed or the exact number of jobs to return stateside, Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said. All jobs returning to the U.S. will be for French-speaking agents, and will likely result in new job openings. Delta said affected employees would be offered other positions within the airline, severance packages or employment counseling.

The move will affect 142 jobs at its Montreal center and 187 positions in its London reservation offices. The Montreal facility will closed Aug. 31, 2010, while the London center will close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

With the closing of the London office, joint venture partner Air France-KLM will assume responsibilities for customer calls in Europe. Under the plan, Delta will handle calls for joint venture customers in the United States and Canada.

No other Delta call centers will be affected by the moves, Elliott said.

Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) is the world’s largest airline.

In April, Delta stopped routing U.S. calls to a call center in India citing customer complaints.

Does this indicate that more American companies will follow Deltas example?

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