Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) is planning to close its pilot base at New York JFK in September 2018 and is asking the staff currently stationed there to relocate to its bases in California, CNBC has reported.

The carrier plans to continue serving the New York metro area but without stationing pilots out of the city.

"This was a difficult decision - but a necessary one - based on the need to match our pilot staffing with the geographic areas on the West Coast where we deploy our aircraft every day. All of our JFK-based pilots are being offered the opportunity to transfer to either Los Angeles Int'l or San Francisco, CA," an airline spokesperson has said.

Alaska Airlines has inherited New York operations from Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA), the carrier it took over in 2016 and fully integrated earlier in 2018.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, Alaska Airlines currently serves three airports in the New York metro area: New York JFK (a total of 95 flights weekly to five destinations), Newark (94 flights weekly to six destinations), and New York La Guardia (25 weekly departures, all to Dallas Love Field).

The carrier's California bases are much larger with 628 weekly departures out of San Francisco and 572 out of Los Angeles. The carrier's West Coast bases also include Seattle Tacoma Int'l (2,167 weekly departures), Portland Int'l, OR (959), and San Diego Int'l (332).