DENVER (CBS4) – In another round of belt-tightening becoming all too familiar at airlines, Frontier essentially laid off 1,100 employees in Denver on Friday.

The Denver-based discount airline told the employees they could reapply for their jobs through outsourced contract positions.

In a statement, Frontier said the cuts are “crucial for Frontier to successfully compete in the marketplace as an ultra-low cost carrier.”

It added: “Low fares are only achieved through low costs.”

The airline said it hopes many of those employees will continue to keep their jobs through their new business partnership. If they don’t, they will be offered a severance package.

Meanwhile, on Friday the airline issued employees generalized pamphlets on how to cope with the grief of losing a job, noting that it’s common to feel shock, sadness, anger and loss of control.

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Employees didn’t speak on camera to CBS4 on Friday, saying they were afraid Frontier would penalize them for talking by not offering them a job with the contractor.

But some passengers said they were upset but not surprised.

“Frontier is a Colorado-based company, and they’re cutting corners. It makes me sad,” Kari Morton, a frequent flyer, told CBS4.

Laid-off positions include airport employees and positions in the reservations division. A few hundred employees are also affected in Frontier’s Milwaukee location.

The workers’ union said the layoffs were not necessary because fuel prices are lower and airlines are recording profits

A Frontier spokesman told CBS4 the number of flights going into and out of Denver are not affected by the changes.

At Denver International Airport on Friday, passenger Linda Cherry said she couldn’t say whether Frontier’s move would affect whether she flew the airline again.

“If they’re struggling and they have to let people go because of that, then I’m sure other things are going to change as well,” she said, adding that she’d have to see what happens over the next few months before her next flight. “It’s very sad. You feel sorry for families that are going to be affected by this.”

Additional Resources:

The following is the complete statement from Frontier regarding the employment situation.

Today Frontier is meeting with its Airport employees in Denver and Reservations employees in Denver and Milwaukee to advise them of the difficult but necessary decision to transition the management of these departments to business partners who specializes in these areas.

Today’s announcement is by no means a reflection of the service or level of work provided by our team members. The business partners we have selected are high-quality organizations and employees will be given priority in interviewing.

These changes continue to be part of a comprehensive companywide strategy that is crucial for Frontier to successfully compete in the marketplace as an ultra-low cost carrier allowing it to offer customers much needed relief from high airfares nationwide. Low fares are only achieved through low costs.

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