American Airlines (Nasdaq: AAL) announced Friday that it plans to consolidate its southwestern Pennsylvania and Phoenix flight operations centers in North Texas. In letters released to employees, unions, the Federal Aviation Administration and local officials in the affected areas, the company informed staff in both Pittsburgh and Phoenix of plans to consolidate all operations in Texas. Roughly 600 people will be affected, according to an email sent out by Matt Dinkel, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat representing the Forest Hills area near Pittsburgh. The move follows the merger between American and US Airways. The company chose Fort Worth for its headquarters and is beginning the process of combining its operations. American and US Airways will continue to operate as separate airlines for another 18 to 24 months, though already they are sharing codes, allowing travelers to book a flight on either airline seamlessly. So far, the merger has been a win for North Texas. The successful completion of the deal was considered critical to maintaining the operations levels at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and the world’s largest airline is now based in the region.
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