Intel grounds employee air shuttle to save costs

Intel has stopped flying its employee air shuttle, which operated frequent flights between the chipmaker’s sites in Hillsboro, Silicon Valley and Arizona.

“We temporarily paused our shuttle service as we reduce employee travel as part of our ongoing cost-cutting efforts and are asking employees to use commercial flights for approved travel during this time,” spokesperson Eleonora Akopyan confirmed in an email to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The Intel air shuttle had been a popular alternative to commercial air travel for the chipmaker’s Oregon employees. It flew through the Hillsboro Airport, near Intel’s major Washington County campuses, and could ferry employees to meet with colleagues in other states and have them home again in time for dinner.

Portland International Airport is more than 20 miles east of Intel’s main Oregon sites, meaning a long commute for employees just to catch their flights.

But amid a historic decline in sales, Intel laid off workers, reduced its shareholder dividend, cut travel budgets and made temporary reductions in pay and bonuses for many employees. The company is hoping to save $3 billion through spending reductions this year.

Intel has also moved to remote work for most employees, which could mean fewer in-person meetings. The company declined to comment on what affect it had on the decision to ground the shuttle.

The Port of Portland, which runs the Hillsboro Airport, said that Intel has recently been operating eight flights a day. Prior to the pandemic, the shuttle flew 13 times daily from Monday through Thursday with 11 flights on Fridays.

— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | 503-294-7699

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