More good news coming for American Airlines' maintenance base in Tulsa

Tuesday, November 11th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

American Airlines is making a big announcement about the Tulsa maintenance base this week. It's news that could have a major impact on the plant's future.

The official announcement comes on Thursday morning. But we have some advance word on what they're likely to say, and as News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg tells us, it's believed to be good news.

American Airlines officials say the announcement has to do with American's fleet of Boeing 737's. Tulsa already got some of the 737 maintenance work from Kansas City back in September. But sources tell the News on 6 that on Thursday, the airline will likely announce the transfer of even "more" 737 work from Kansas City to Tulsa.

If true, it will be a major turning point, because American Airlines says the 737, a newer plane, will eventually become the biggest part of their fleet and so the Tulsa plant would continue to be American's primary maintenance base. The move would make sense given the announcement a couple of weeks ago in Kansas City. It was then that American announced that the Kansas City base would stay open, but that it would be phasing out narrow-body jet work there, narrow body jets like the 737.

Sources tell the News on 6 that it's possible American will "swap" some work between the two bases, sending less critical work from Tulsa to Kansas City, while they transfer the much more-coveted 737 work here.

Sources say the additional 737 work probably wouldn't have much impact on the job-level at the Tulsa base in the "short" term. What's important is that the 737 would position Tulsa to be American's base of the future, as well as the present.