American Airlines closing pilot base in St. Louis -

American Airlines closing pilot base in St. Louis

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines is closing its pilot base in St. Louis, one more disappearing vestige of the carrier’s takeover of once-proud TWA nearly two decades ago.

American announced Monday that starting next September the 180 pilots based in St. Louis will have to move or commute to assignments—not unusual in the airline business—if they want to keep their jobs.

The move comes as American retires TWA’s old MD-80 planes and replaces them with Boeing 737s.

TWA was an iconic name in aviation, but after years of decline it went into bankruptcy protection. That’s when Fort Worth-based American bought it in 2001.

TWA had 2,300 pilots at the time. American says 1,000 remain; many of the others hit retirement age.

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