Sky Talk

American Airlines has no plans to close Tulsa maintenance base

A plane in a hangar for the Boeing 737-800 retrofit at American Airlines’ Tulsa facility.
A plane in a hangar for the Boeing 737-800 retrofit at American Airlines’ Tulsa facility. TULSA WORLD

American Airlines told employees in a newsletter on Thursday that it has no plans to close its Tulsa maintenance base.

As part of a question-and-answer section in its weekly newsletter, American Airlines senior vice president of technical operations David Seymour reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the Oklahoma maintenance base that employs 6,000 workers.

“There are no plans to close the Tulsa Maintenance Base. Our intent for the Tulsa Base operation is for it to continue to be a Center of Excellence for heavy maintenance and repairs for the company, and we have not changed our position since the merger. Tulsa will continue to focus on high volume work, which the workforce is very good at,” Seymour said.

Two months ago, American announced plans to shut down its engine repair facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth. The facility, called Texas Aero Engine Service LLC, is a 50-50 partnership with Rolls Royce and will close in January. About 600 workers will be affected by the closure of the facility that provided maintenance and repaired and overhauled jet engines in American’s fleet.

There have been concerns in Tulsa that the maintenance facility there will need to be upgraded to accommodate new aircraft types that American is adding to its fleet. A significant amount of the maintenance work at Tulsa is performed on MD-80 airplanes which American plans to retire out of its fleet by 2018.

“The Tulsa base needs a lot of money spent on it to upgrade it to fit the newer fleet,” Transport Workers Union president Dale Danker told the Tulsa World earlier this year.