American Airlines' future looking up in Tulsa

Friday, April 25th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Board members praised American Airlines Friday as the greatest airline in the world as it avoided bankruptcy.

Unionized flight attendants earlier Friday approved an updated package of pay and benefits cuts. Pilots and machinists also have approved the concessions to help American survive.

Friday's action comes after chairman and chief executive Don Carty resigned Thursday.

Company president Gerard Arpey has replaced Carty as CEO, while board member and former Sears CEO Edward Brennan is the new chairman.

With thousands of their jobs on the line along with a big piece of Tulsa's economy, the workers at the local maintenance base tried a little divine intervention Friday morning. About a hundred maintenance workers gathered outside the administration building during their lunch break for a group prayer service.

And it appears to have worked. Not long after, the flight attendants announced they have accepted their revised contract. American trimmed the length of the contract from 6 years to 5. And it included some more incentives that could result in pay increases of up to 10%, depending on how the company performs.

American has more 9,700 workers at a maintenance plant in Tulsa and more than 250 employees at Tulsa International and Will Rogers World airports.