ORLANDO, Fla. (TVLW) – AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , will build a permanent, hurricane-hardened Systems Operations Control (SOC) center at Orlando International Airport, keep its existing Orlando headquarters and add high- paying jobs in Florida, the company announced Wednesday.
“Orlando will remain our nerve center for our fast-growing network as well as our headquarters city,” said Robert. L. Fornaro, AirTran Airways president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to call Orlando home. Orlando is a great city with a business-friendly climate, growing business and leisure passenger base and livability. It’s a place skilled Crew Members want to come to work and raise their families — and we’d like to thank Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Enterprise Florida, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, the City of Orlando, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority for forming a partnership that will benefit AirTran Airways and, we believe, Central Florida for many, many years.”
AirTran Airways has rapidly added flights and new routes at its home base and now operates 449 weekly flights to 33 nonstop destinations from Orlando. The company plans to add 121 jobs at an average salary of $45,000 to its 300- member Orlando workforce. Many of the new jobs are tied to the AirTran Airways SOC, the airline’s technologically advanced nerve center, where dispatchers, schedulers and resource planners control all aspects of airline operations. The existing SOC was extensively damaged in 2004 by Hurricane Charley.
“This is great news for our state since the aviation industry and headquarters operations are critical to our plans for economic growth,” said Florida Governor Charlie Crist. “I am thankful to AirTran Airways for realizing the value of continuing its business base in Florida, and I congratulate our partners at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and the City of Orlando for their successful efforts in retaining this business that is important to the Central Florida market as well as the state.”