United has decided to sell a "majority of its interest" in Avolar. The reason cited for the sale decision is that it would "allow outside investors to take over Avolar's future funding obligations, but still preserve for UAL and its shareholders the value already created in the business jet subsidiary."
Avolar, as you are probably well aware, is UAL's proposed business jet operation---a slick fleet of 200 business aircraft that had planned to be airborne by 2005. United had previously mentioned that it would hire approximately 1,000 new pilots for this operation. The company had also indicated that it will not use any of us to provide onboard safety and service duties. In other words, no UAL flight attendants will be employed on those planes.
United's recent announcement to sell a "majority of its interest" in Avolar doesn't mean that the operation plans are finished altogether. Check out this NewsReal quote from our CEO:
"We know that it would not be a good decision to shut down the business because, at this point, we would probably lose most of what we have invested," says Jack Creighton, chairman and chief executive officer. "Selling a majority of Avolar will allow United to conserve its cash and maintain the value of the investment already made in the business. Our customers also have told us that the availability of products like Avolar would strengthen our relationships with them and could generate more mainline business as well. Our plan allows us to maintain this benefit with no future funding obligations."
So...I guess the fine line will be between a "majority" and just plain dumping it altogether. As we're so every fond of saying around here: only time will tell.