PITTSBURGH - US Airways is closing its 600-employee flight operations center at Pittsburgh International Airport over the next 18 months.
The airline announced the move Friday.
"We have decided to move the OCC to the American Airlines Integrated Operations Control center (IOC) in Dallas-Fort Worth. Consolidating our two operations centers into one team, adjacent to our primary flight training center and our corporate headquarters, is the right decision for our business and our customers and a necessary step on our mission to make the new American the world's best airline," said US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher.
The airline is merging with American Airlines in a $17.8 billion deal approved in December, but US Airways and American continue to operate separately until the Federal Aviation Administration grants the new entity -- American Airlines Group -- a unified operating certificate.
The move to close the flight operations center comes as the merged airline plans to move the jobs to the American Airlines Integrated Operations Control Center in Dallas Fort-Worth. That's where American is headquartered and the combined airline will be based.
“It's not a good day. Six-hundred jobs, I guess the good news is they will be offered jobs but they will have to move to Dallas,” said Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
American says most of the dispatchers and other employees will be given the chance to transfer, though an unspecified number are expected to be cut through voluntary attrition.
Pittsburgh International was built back in 1992 to the airline’s specifications.
At the time, US Airways was a hub, operating a majority of the gates at the facility.
In 2003, US Airways started the process of de-hubbing Pittsburgh and routing flights to other airports.
The airline declared bankruptcy in 2004.
Despite US Airways’ diminishing presence, the airline opened the operations center in 2008.
Today the airline operates 40 daily departures from Pittsburgh.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.