American's Alliance Facility Closure Has Ripple Effects - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways

American's Alliance Facility Closure Has Ripple Effects

Restaurants worry about effects of closing, but local economic developers say new tenant could arrive quickly



    From new planes and employees to those losing their jobs - what happened in the last year and what's next for American Airlines? Here is a comprehensive look. (Published Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012)

    As American Airlines hits the one-year anniversary of its bankruptcy, restaurants near Alliance Airport worry about the effects of the closure of the airline's maintenance facility there, even while other suitors for the building make offers.

    The American Airlines maintenance facility is set to close next month, leaving as many as 1,100 workers without jobs or working somewhere else for the company.

    Restaurant owners near the Alliance Airport said they see maintenance workers at breakfast and lunch and are concerned about the effects of the closure on their businesses.

    "These people eat in here for years and couple times a week," said Buddy Yeary, the manager of the Snooty Pig. "I have become friends with them, and I am concerned what's going to happen to them, as well as my business, because it's good to have those people in here. It's what keeps us alive."

    Yeary said many of his customers who work for American didn't know what would happen to them until just recently.

    "We'll miss some of those customers," he said. "Every customer matters."

    But American's departure means a new company soon could arrive at the airport, according to David Berzina, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce executive vice president of economic development .

    "We've already had between seven and nine companies come and look at it over the last couple of months," he said. "There has been an offer that has been submitted on the table. I think they're a little far apart in terms of price."

    Berzina said the facility is state-of-the-art and a rare find across the country. Couple that with an experienced, capable workforce, and it won't be long before someone new steps in, he said.

    "If the building is vacant through Christmas, look for the first quarter to have significant offers put on the building, and we look forward to having someone in there very soon," Berzina said.

    While the American maintenance facility is closing, the airline's partnership with Rolls-Royce will remain open.

    American Airlines Merger:
    Complete coverage of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways into the newly-formed Fort Worth-based company, American Airlines Group (AAL). Click here for more.