DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Nearly 650 workers are looking for new jobs after United Airlines ended its contract with SkyWest Airlines for below-wing ground baggage handling at Denver International Airport.

The Denver Post reports Mike Thompson, SkyWest’s chief operating officer, told employees Friday the responsibilities will be taken over by Simplicity Ground, a subsidiary of UK-based Menzies. SkyWest had held the contract since 2005.

United declined to answer questions but said in a statement the change will “allow us to run a more competitive operation.”

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow says the contracting process is competitive, noting there were areas where SkyWest fell short, specifically at “on-time reliability.”

SkyWest will also no longer have any ground baggage handling and ramp presence at DIA. The change doesn’t affect United Express routes operated by SkyWest out of the airport.

United Airlines issued this statement: “We have decided to transition some of our ground handling work at Denver International Airport to Simplicity USA. This change will allow us to run a more competitive operation. We are also pleased to bring in house baggage transfer positions for United Express flights at DIA.”

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