Airport officials: Possible US Airways-American merger could cost jobs at Pittsburgh International
Allegheny County Airport Authority officials are working to prevent the loss of hundreds of jobs at Pittsburgh International, authority board members said Friday — an effort important enough to slow their search for a CEO.
Board Treasurer Dennis Davin said officials want to focus on preserving jobs should a US Airways-American Airlines merger goes through, and on the $500 million natural-gas drilling deal they recently inked with Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc.
“We want to get through these next few months first,” Davin said.
Davin, the county's Department of Economic Development director, said authority and local government leaders plan to appeal to airline officials to preserve about 1,200 jobs at US Airways' flight operations center in Moon and at the maintenance base at Pittsburgh International Airport in Findlay.
The jobs represent about two-thirds of US Airways' remaining workforce in Pittsburgh, where the airline once employed 12,000.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, recently wrote to executives at American Airlines and US Airways. He said preserving jobs “is of the utmost importance for the regional economy.”
The senator asked the airlines to extend US Airways' maintenance-hangar lease in Pittsburgh beyond 2015.
If the merger with American Airlines goes through, the combined carrier would have two flight-operations centers and two maintenance bases, Davin said, including ones that American operates elsewhere.
One aim of the merger is to reduce costs. Airline officials have said they hope to slash $150 million in expenses, but they haven't provided details.
American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said it is too soon to discuss how a merger might affect Pittsburgh. A merger could close by this year's third quarter, he said.
A US Airways spokesman did not return calls.
Davin said authority officials haven't been told the airlines would scrap jobs, but added: “We're trying to get ahead of this.”
In the interim, former authority CEO Brad Penrod will remain the agency's top executive. The board reassigned him as president and chief strategy officer last month during a leadership shake-up.
Penrod did not return a call.
Board member Robert Lewis, who is heading the CEO search, said he expects the hiring process to take 12 to 18 months.
“We want someone in there who wakes up every morning wanting to bring new flights to the airport,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who appoints authority board members and has taken an active role in airport business.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wolf in Leechburg: “Get it right this time” in the election for Pa. governor
- Armstrong in test program using slag on icy roads
- Police seek help finding missing man
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Man arrested after showing up at hospital with gunshot wounds
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Pennsylvania woman gets prison for abusing elderly husband
- Penn Avenue site tops group’s preservation list
- Penguins look to buck shots, goals trend
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death