American Airlines makes it official, more 737 work for their Tulsa maintenance base

Thursday, November 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

American Airlines makes a major announcement Thursday morning that could affect the course of the Tulsa maintenance base for years, even decades to come.

The News on 6 was the first to tell you two days ago about the announcement and that American would likely announce more 737 work for the Tulsa base. Thursday, they made it official.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg was at the news conference and says for months, government and business and union leaders have been working feverishly behind the scenes to land the 737 work for Tulsa. Thursday, they say they've got it.

The 737 is just a small part of American's fleet right now. What makes it so important is that it will replace the MD-80 as the biggest part of American's fleet. That means whoever does the maintenance work is the biggest maintenance base. Up until now, Kansas City did most of the 737 work. But over the past couple of months, bit by bit, Tulsa was getting more.

And then Thursday, they announced Tulsa has reeled in the really big fish. Carmine Romano, American Airlines Vice-President: "I am proud to announce the decision to relocate the Boeing 737 airframe heavy check maintenance right here at the Tulsa maintenance base."

The heavy check maintenance, as you would guess, is the most labor intensive job, which means you employ the most people. That work could have very easily have gone to Kansas City. But it's here and it starts in January.

It won't mean a big difference in the short term in jobs. What it does mean, officials say, is that Tulsa continues to be American's primary maintenance base.