|Updated: 2/15 5:28 pm
||Published: 2/15 3:33 pm
Business and community leaders at a Tulsa Regional Chamber news conference room on Friday announced support for the merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways.
Officials said the news indicates American Airlines and its Tulsa operation are poised for growth and success.
“The merger announcement between American Airlines and US Airways is outstanding for the Tulsa region and a win for Oklahoma,” said Tulsa Regional Chamber president and CEO Mike Neal. “This is outstanding news for some 6,400 employees and families across the Northeast Oklahoma region.”
In early 2012, many of the same community leaders, business leaders and elected officials joined the Tulsa Regional Chamber and partners in economic development for a news conference to voice their unwavering support to help American Airlines work toward the best outcome for the company and for northeast Oklahoma following American parent company AMR Corp’s bankruptcy filing.
“We’re thankful for the leadership of the entire community,” said Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. “From the beginning, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, mayors and city managers from outlying communities and the Tulsa County Commissioners created a unified effort to support our various industries at the airport, on which we rely so heavily for Tulsa’s economic future.”
With this announcement, the region will continue to support the newly-formed company and will strive to enhance northeast Oklahoma’s aerospace sector any way it can.
“In the months to come, our community will need to work closely with the new American Airlines and TWU to ensure Tulsa is prepared to address the future maintenance base needs of this global company,” Neal said. “As a community, we will need to ensure these hangars and facilities are world-class and capable of meeting the needs of this company for the next fifty years and beyond.”
The American Airlines MRO base in Tulsa has a tremendous economic impact on northeast Oklahoma, with jobs at American Airlines’ maintenance base in Tulsa supporting nearly 3,500 additional jobs throughout the Tulsa-area economy. Total income earned and supported by AA employees and annual operations nears $711 million, while the company and its employees contribute more than $928 million to the gross regional product of the Tulsa MSA. In addition, the sales tax to county and city collections supported by AA employees is $10.2 million.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Tulsa as US Air recognizes the significance of our talented workforce and their commitment to hard work,” Bartlett said. “The city of Tulsa is grateful that American Airlines and US Air are committed to Tulsa and that our future in the aerospace/aviation industry looks very bright.”