Layoffs, Furloughs Coming To American Airlines Tulsa Plant

Thursday, July 16th 2020, 6:23 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

American Airlines plans to lay off more than 114 employees and furlough 1,003 others starting October 1.

In a letter to employees, American Airlines called the decision "a day none of us wanted to see."

Back in February, American Airlines announced more than $550 million of investment into new facilities in Tulsa, home of the company's largest maintenance facility with more than 5,500 workers. Weeks later, a global pandemic led to thousands of canceled flights.

The company said passenger revenues last month were 80 percent lower compared to June 2019.

This week, American Airlines has notified about 25,000 employees of possible lay-offs and furloughs.

"Those jobs at American Airlines are very well-paying jobs and based on the seniority of the individuals out there, people have been working there for 20, 30-plus years," said Bill Murphy with the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

Murphy said it is too early to put a monetary value on the impact to our local economy. He said he thinks it will take at least two years for the aviation industry to recover. Murphy said the chamber is working with other agencies to help keep impacted employees in Green Country.

American Airlines also said Thursday it is partnering with JetBlue in hopes of generating enough new passenger traffic to launch new flights

“We think American is taking the right steps to weather this storm and, again, our hope is that based on past experience that they will be able to weather this downturn," said Murphy.

Also in its letter to employees, American Airlines said it has created generous programs to help reduce the number of furloughs.

News On 6 reached out to the Transport Workers Union in Tulsa several times for comment and have not heard back.