SEATAC, Wash. (AP) -- Alaska Airlines is consolidating its heavy aircraft maintenance operations in Oakland, Calif., and moving about 130 jobs south.
The affected workers have the choice of moving to Oakland or applying for other jobs with the company in the Seattle area, said Jack Walsh, a company spokesman.
Currently the West Coast regional carrier's Boeing 737s undergo heavy maintenance at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and MD-80 series planes are handled in Oakland.
Oakland was chosen for the combined operation because it has a larger hangar and is better suited to expansion, Walsh said.
''It basically came down to the economics,'' Walsh said. ''The space is already there. We won't have to build a new hangar, and there's enough room to double in the future.''
The change covers major repairs, overhauls and checkups for which planes must be out of service for a week to a couple of months. Routine work, known as line maintenance, is not affected by the change.
Union officials said they expected the announcement.
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