New American Air CEO: Jobs will stay in Phoenix

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- It was a warm welcome back to Sky Harbor Airport Thursday afternoon for the new CEO of the world's largest airline.

Doug Parker arrived in Phoenix ready to answer questions about what this mega merger between US Airways and American means for the Valley, starting with jobs.

"The vast majority of jobs that are here will be here and I'm hopeful it'll be even more," said Parker.

That's comforting to flight attendants, ground crews and pilots who were fearful they may be forced to relocate.

Parker said the company needs them to keep the same amount of flights in the air out of Phoenix. He also said the name might change on their headquarters, but this building will also become part of American.

"We're going to maintain a corporate presence here in Phoenix and we'll have some jobs there, I don't know exactly what they are, but it will be filled with American employees doing good work," Parker said.

Still, the new CEO confirms some management level employees may not stay on with the company, though he hopes most will leave through attrition. He stresses losing those positions is an unfortunate sacrifice to make the hometown airline, and Arizona itself, a bigger player in the aviation game.

"The reality is the majority of our management team is excited for the company right now because they know they've done their job, which is to take care of our shareholders, our employees and our customers," said Parker.

Parker wants the merger closed in the third quarter. Details on exactly what jobs may move or be lost in the merger are expected in the coming months.