Citing need to control costs, United Airlines says it may outsource up to 2,000 airport jobs

United Airlines is considering cutting up to 2,000 jobs at 28 airports around the country and hiring a contractor to do the work.

The airline needs to make sure its costs are competitive, and so it is considering outsourcing jobs of some bag handlers and customer-service agents, United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said on Tuesday.

Employees were notified of the potential cuts on Monday, Punzenberger said. He said United was discussing the matter with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents the affected workers.

The move follows United's decision last year to outsource more than 600 jobs at 12 airports around the country. Most were at airports served by smaller United Express regional flights.

United Continental Holdings Inc. earned $1.12 billion in the first nine months of 2014, eclipsing the $571 million it made in all of 2013.

Shares of United rose 49 cents to close at $66.41. They have lost less than 1 percent in January after gaining 77 percent in 2014.

The airports at which United is considering outsourcing jobs of employees including baggage handlers and customer-service agents:

Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta; Billings, Montana; Boise, Idaho; Fort Myers, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City; McAllen, Texas; Miami; Nashville; Norfolk, Virginia; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Nebraska; Ontario, California; Providence, Rhode Island; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Reno, Nevada; Richmond, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; Sacramento, California; San Jose, California; Spokane, Washington; St. Louis; Tulsa, Oklahoma; West Palm Beach, Florida.