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UNITED AIRLINES TO SELL ASSETS OF 15 U.S. FLIGHT KITCHENS TO DOBBS INTERNATIONAL SERVICES; AGREEMENT REACHED WITH CATERAIR INTERNATIONAL

 CHICAGO, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines has reached an agreement to sell the assets associated with 15 of its U.S. flight kitchens to Dobbs International Services, Inc., a unit of The Dial Corp. (NYSE: DL). United will receive a total of $119.4 million in cash from the asset sale, and through a seven-year catering agreement with Dobbs, estimates it will avoid capital expenditures of $71 million over the contract term and also realize catering service savings of more than $320 million.
 Under the catering agreement included in the transaction, Dobbs will provide catering services to United at each of the airports served by the 15 flight kitchens in these cities: Boston; Chicago (three kitchens); Denver; Detroit; Honolulu; Los Angeles; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco (two kitchens); Seattle; and Washington, D.C. (Dulles).
 United expects to complete the sale over a period of several months, beginning in 90-120 days. The agreement with Dobbs is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions and gives United the option to terminate the contract at any time prior to Nov. 13, 1993, if, for example, an agreement is reached with the United Airlines Union Coalition to improve United's cost-competitiveness.
 In separate negotiations, United has entered into an agreement in principle with Caterair International Corp. to purchase catering assets and provide catering services at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
 Both Dobbs and Caterair have agreed to interview for possible employment all United employees at the relevant flight kitchens who apply for jobs.
 United said that at this time, it will continue to operate its flight kitchens in Miami and Narita, Japan, as well as its commissary operations at a number of other U.S. locations.
 The agreements mark another step in the company's strategy to return to profitability. Earlier this year, United implemented a $400 million cost-reduction program.
 "The decision to sell these kitchen assets has been a difficult one because it affects approximately 5,200 dedicated United employees," said Stephen M. Wolf, United chairman and chief executive officer. "However, our agreements with Dobbs and Caterair will enable United to save more than $40.4 million on our catering expenses in the first year alone. We are one of the last major U.S. carriers to operate our own flight kitchens, and this kind of cost savings is essential if we are to return to profitability and remain viable long term."
 Dobbs already serves United at 28 airports in the United States. In all, Dobbs currently operates 52 kitchens in 45 airports, including London and Glasgow, producing 200,000 meals daily for more than 60 domestic and international airlines.
 Caterair's international network spans six continents. The airline catering organization operates at 92 airports in 24 countries, serving 450,000 meals daily to approximately 150 domestic and international airlines.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: John Kiker, 708-952-4162, Joe Hopkins, 708-952-5770, or Tony Molinaro, 708-952-4971; or (investors) Pamela Hanlon, 708-952-7501, all of UAL Corporate Communications/
 (UAL)


CO: United Airlines; Dobbs International Services, Inc.; Caterair
 International Corp. ST: Illinois, New York IN: AIR SU: TNM


CK -- NY104 -- 1509 09/13/93 17:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993
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