American Airlines downsizing impact in Tulsa

Tuesday, August 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

American Airlines, one of Tulsa's biggest employers, has announced another round of cost cutting. And they will include layoffs.

The company went through a major downsizing after September 11th. Now it's almost a year later, and things have still not improved. News on Six business reporter Steve Berg says the airline continues to lose money every quarter, and they've announced several steps as they try to once again turn a profit.

These are the three main ones likely to affect Tulsa. Number one, the company will cut 7,000 jobs between now and March of next year. Some of those job cuts will begin in October. They will reduce capacity by 9%.

Number two; the company will retire the 74 jets in its fleet of Fokker 100 aircraft. A spokeswoman with American says the maintenance plant in Tulsa is the only one that does work on the Fokker 100. That sounds bad at first. But the spokeswoman says there are a couple of things working in Tulsa's favor. She says the Fokker is going to be phased out over a period of two or three years, so it's not going to happen all at once. And she says the Fokker maintenance is not a large part of the workload at the Tulsa base.

She adds that job cuts are aimed more at airport operations, something that Tulsa is not involved in as much. American officials are quick to add though they don't know exactly how each city and airport is going to be affected. Also it's not clear how routes are going to change. But they say there are ways to reduce capacity without canceling routes.

The company did announce however they are canceling their non-stop flight between Tulsa and Los Angeles. American says it will announce more specifics in October, when the first job cuts actually take place.