|Updated: 12/09/2013 6:41 pm
||Published: 12/09/2013 4:57 pm
American Airlines and US Airways are officially one airline as of Monday, creating the new American Airlines.
It’s been two years since Tulsa’s largest employer entered bankruptcy, but instead of mass layoffs the company has merged with US Air and still employs more than 6,000 people in Tulsa at the maintenance base.
It’s been two years since it appeared that AA could scale back its presence at its Tulsa maintenance base.
But with Monday’s official announcement, not only has the company renewed its commitment to the Tulsa base, but it’s actually announced the potential for growth in the future.
AA senior vice president of technical operations David Seymour will oversee maintenance at the Tulsa base now.
He continued to re-affirm the largest airline in the world’s commitment to keeping the bulk of its maintenance operations in Tulsa.
“This is a phenomenal facility. You have great talent in the work force here, producing a quality product. And that’s something that you have to continue to leverage. And that’s what we’re going to do,” said Seymour.
But Mayor Dewey Bartlett said this merger opens up more opportunity for Tulsa.
“Collectively, this is a real, real, real big deal for the economic vitality of this city for decades to come,” said Bartlett.
In fact, he said city and regional leaders in government and business will begin immediately working with the airline to expand maintenance operations here, now that the number of jets needing maintenance has greatly increased.
“We will continue to do is to ask AA what their plans are and what their needs are, because they are different than the old AA,” said Bartlett.
And even though the combined airline has some level of maintenance work in Dallas, Charlotte and Pittsburg in addition to Tulsa, Seymour said expanding here is on the table.
“There’s always an option that you could see some increase there. Again, we have just not done the assessment on what we’re going to do here. But again, it’s key and important for us,” said Seymour.
But that decision will be one of many as two airlines become one.
The process for merging all other elements of these two airlines into one could take some time; up to two years.