FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Aviation employees aren’t the only ones keeping a close on American Airlines bankruptcy filing. The American Airlines Maintenance Facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth was one of the company’s first facilities targeted to be shut down after the troubled airline announced its bankruptcy. Nearby businesses say they’re dependent on the business they get from American’s employees.
At the Snooty Pig Restaurant just blocks away from Alliance Airport, several American Airlines maintenance workers are regular customers.
“We would definitely lose some business if we lost those employees over there,” said Buddy Yeary, General Manager of the Snooty Pig.
But new hope arrived today for employees and business owners after three American Airlines unions, representing more than 50,000 employees, announced they support a merger with U.S. Airways. The thought is the merger could save more than 6,000 jobs.
And like the unions, business owners like Yeary, support a merger as long as it saves jobs.
“Now that they’re talking about U.S. Airways maybe buying or merging with them, maybe that would save the company and that would be a good thing,” Yeary said.
Meanwhile, developers like Hillwood Properties say the American Airlines bankruptcy filing has no bearing on future business development at and near Alliance Airport.
“This area has the second largest aviation employment base in the country,” said William Burton, Senior Vice President of Hillwood Properties. “This is a very unique facility compared to what is around the world so we’re hoping that something will work out.”
And though Burton says American Airlines is a very important tenant at Alliance Airport and he hopes the company stays, should the facility close he’s confident the airport and the areas surrounding it will continue to grow.
Even now, several new businesses are sprouting. AllianceTexas, a 17,000-acre master planned, mixed use community, will be hosting a job fair on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Texas Motor Speedway’s Speedway Club. More than 40 companies will be hiring — a testament to the area’s growth, according to Burton.
Despite future growth, business owners like Yeary says they are concerned about what is happening now with American Airlines and hope a merger will go through to keep the company and its employees afloat.
“Hopefully some of them won’t lose their jobs. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep those customers,” said Yeary.