TULSA, Oklahoma - American Airlines says it is moving major jet engine work to its Tulsa maintenance base.

The company says it will bring work on CFM56-5B jet engines to Tulsa next year. The company currently contracts with GE for the work, but that contact ends next year. 

In a letter to employees at the Tulsa maintenance base, Senior Vice President of Integrated Operations David Seymour said the company put the work out for bid and the in-house option was the best deal.

"Tulsa is known for doing industry-leading engine shop work, and has established first rate processes for the CFM56-7B (-7B) program," Seymour wrote. "The Tulsa team has brought the turnaround time of a heavy shop engine visit to a world-class average of 53 days. Because of this expertise, when our contract with GE was set to expire, the in-source option was put up against other external vendors. Once the bidding process was run, the clear answer was to determine that the team who does the -7B work so well should perform that same work on the -5B, especially given the high degree of commonality of the two engine variants."

The CFM56-5B engines are used on the company's Airbus A320 aircraft. 

The work should protect the jobs of 80 people at the Tulsa maintenance base. Seymour said the company will work with the local chapter of the Transport Workers Union, TWU Local 514, to address the new work. 

“This announcement confirms the commitment of American Airlines to the maintenance base and Tulsa area, thanks to the long-standing performance of the Tulsa technical operations team,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “American Airlines serves as a major contributor to our local economy and we look forward to the continued partnerships with the aerospace industry in Tulsa.”

Read Seymour's letter: