Tulsa Could Eventually Benefit From American Airlines Record Plane Order

Wednesday, July 20th 2011, 7:44 am
By: News On 6

Staff and Wire reports

FORT WORTH, Texas -- American Airlines is buying at least 460 new planes over the next five years and splitting the order between aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus.

American's parent, AMR Corp., said Wednesday it will buy 260 planes from Airbus and 200 from Boeing. It will also take options and purchase rights for up to 465 additional planes through 2025.

Read AMR news release.

Sources at Tulsa's American Airline's maintenance facility at Tulsa International Airport say this purchase from Boeing and Airbus should have no immediate impact at the Tulsa facility. The impact should come in about 5 years when those planes need maintenance. 

Tim Smith, a spokesman for American Airlines, said the new fleets won't arrive to America until 2013 and then there will be a lag time before they need maintenance.

The last time American had Airbus in its fleet was early 2009 and those were maintained in Tulsa.

The airline expects the new, better-mileage planes will save money on fuel and provide more enticing amenities to passengers.

The parent company of American also announced it expects to spin-off regional carrier American Eagle, but it still won't completely rule out a sale.

AMR Corporation didn't offer a timeframe for the plan, announced Wednesday. American Eagle carries passengers from smaller cities to American Airlines hub airports.

AMR, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, says making American Eagle an independent company allows it to compete to provide regional service for other big airlines and grow larger. All major U.S. carriers use smaller airlines to run their regional flights.

As it proceeds with the spin-off, AMR says it remains open to other options, including a sale, as the deal moves forward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.