Tulsa Leaders React To American-US Airways Merger Announcement

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 7:42 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's Mayor and the Metro Chamber issued statements early Thursday on the $11-billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Mayor Dewey Bartlett praised the agreement.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for Tulsa as US Airways recognizes the significance of our talented workforce and their commitment to hard work. The city of Tulsa is grateful that American Airlines and US Airways are committed to Tulsa and that our future in the Aerospace/Aviation industry looks very bright.

We're thankful for the leadership of the entire community. From the beginning, 18 months ago, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Tulsa City Council, mayors and city managers from outlying communities and the Tulsa County Commissioners created a unified effort to support our various industries at the airport, on which we rely so heavily for Tulsa's economic future.

Without the incredible community-wide support, what could have been a very tragic development for the employment of our city, has appeared to run full-circle and turned in the potential direction of promise and prosperity."

President of the Tulsa Metro Chamber Mike Neal says the announcement is outstanding for the Tulsa region and a win for Oklahoma.

"While the American Airlines restructuring process was difficult at times, it ultimately proved successful as thousands of high-paying jobs were saved in our community. Across the country, today's corporations are making decisions based on economies of scale. We are confident US Airway's decision to merge with American Airlines, a longstanding corporate partner in Tulsa, will ultimately keep thousands of high-paying aerospace and manufacturing jobs here, in our community.

A merger such as this is not seen often. US Airways is a rising star in the airline industry, and this merger will create the world's largest airline. American Airlines, a beacon of our nation's history, and of Tulsa's history, has been home to generations of skilled-workers. Tulsa's manufacturing and aerospace workforce excels above all, a fact that did not go unnoticed during the fifteen month restructuring process. American's highly-skilled Tulsa area employees contributed to the company's success over a sixty-year period.

The newly formed company will have a robust network with more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries, a strong financial foundation and one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry. Today's announcement is outstanding for the Tulsa region and a win for Oklahoma.

The Chamber welcomes American Airlines and US Airways as a continued corporate partner in Tulsa and encourages the company's commitment to the success of the Tulsa maintenance base, the largest non-military MRO base in the world, indirectly influencing the success of the suppliers and other businesses that serve the maintenance base.

The Chamber has been working with both companies for months striving to realize the best outcome for the employees at the American Airlines MRO and for the Tulsa region. Working with Governor Mary Fallin, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, the Tulsa County Commission and other regional partners, we will maintain regular contact with the newly formed company in effort to encourage the company's positive position to grow and continue investments in the Tulsa region"

American Airlines is Tulsa's largest private employer, with more than 5,000 people on the payroll.