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Alaska Airlines will cut management staff by 5 percent and reduce passenger capacity as much as 10 percent to “help us survive what is shaping up to be the most difficult period in commercial aviation history,” Alaska Air Group chairman and CEO Bill Ayer said today.

The Seattle-based parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines also will raise fares and other fees, it said.

The moves were announced as Alaska reported that excluding special items, it had a second-quarter net loss of $14.1 million, or $0.39 per share, compared to 2007 net income of $47.2 million, or $1.16 per share.

Including special items such as a profit on its fuel-hedging contracts, Alaska had quarterly net income $63.1 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, compared to net income of $46.1 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2007.

Alaska Air’s regional carrier, Horizon, reduced its management workforce by 13 percent earlier this year and cut some flights. It will further reduce operational and management positions and make more capacity cuts, Alaska Air said in a statement.

The company said details of the planned reductions will be announced by Sept. 1.

“Skyrocketing fuel prices have eclipsed the improvements we’ve worked so hard to achieve in every area of our business,” said Ayer.