American Airlines

A flight operations control center in Moon Township is closing, causing some 650 employees to relocate to Texas, retire or look for a job elsewhere.

The Moon Township center was built less than seven years ago, specifically for US Airways, which merged with American Airlines in December 2013.

The last flight out of the Pittsburgh-area center is scheduled to take place on Aug. 23, which is also the day when the new operation center in Fort Worth will be fully functional. Pittsburgh workers who choose to move must do so between Aug. 20 and 24.

Though it has been speculated it would happen since the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, it was made official Friday.

American Airlines announced it is moving its operation center in Moon Township to Dallas. That means 600 jobs will leave the area.

“I guess the good news is, those 600 will be hired, they have the option of working, obviously they’ll have to relocate, and they’ll have to move to Dallas,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

For this region, he said the announcement is not good news, thought it wasn’t unexpected.

The Justice Department says it has reached an agreement permitting the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways, creating the world's biggest airline.

In August, the federal government, along with Pennsylvania and five other states, sued to block the merger, claiming it would restrict competition and drive up prices for consumers on hundreds of routes around the country.

The airlines have said their deal would increase competition by creating another big competitor to United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which grew through recent mergers.

When US Airways and American Airlines announced their $11 billion merger on February 14, the new company was expected to retain fleet and ground service in Pittsburgh, with flight operations located in Moon Township.

But now that might not be the case after US Airways Chairman Doug Parker, who will be CEO of the new American Airlines, told employees last week that the Pittsburgh-area Operations and Control Center (OOC) could be shut down in a few years.