|Updated: 2/07 6:10 pm
||Published: 2/07 6:08 pm
There could soon be an announcement about American Airlines and U.S. Airways merging. The companies are declining to comment at this time, citing a non-disclosure agreement.
Both airlines have been in negotiations since August. The merger would create the world’s largest airline. Tulsa Transport Workers Union 514 has already negotiated a 4.3 percent raise for the maintenance workers.
“We're looking forward to it,” said TWU Chairman John Hewitt. “We need a change."
He believes change could be in the air. Hewitt says a merger between the two airlines would lead to more hires later and perhaps bring back people who lost their jobs.
"Our guys on the floor here are seeing the same management faces that drove us into bankruptcy,” he said. “We haven't seen that change. We're hoping the merger has some effect on that."
Sources close to the companies say significant parts of the deal are still unresolved like how to split ownership and the new company board.
"To say exactly what it means no one can do that but there are hopes," Hewitt told FOX23.
The Tulsa Metro Chamber is hoping for the same thing.
"Our number one priority is those 7,000 people who live and work here in Tulsa," said Tulsa Metro Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Jim Fram.
Currently, U.S. Airways outsources much of their work; Fram believes the maintenance base here in Tulsa could be of great value to the company.
"It just makes sense if you and I were going to get our car worked on that it's more economical and more feasible to have that done across the street than have that done that have it shipped somewhere to have that work done," said Fram.
"It's got to be a good thing,” said a former American Airline employee Richard Ponds. “Due to the bankruptcy and the down falls last past year, anything to boost the economy in Tulsa is definitely a plus."
Last week, The President of the TWU, James Little, told FOX23 that he believes a merger between the two airlines is imminent.
"From what I see, and from what I hear, the creditors and the companies are working together. It appears in the 80 90 percentile that this (merger between American and U.S. Airways) may happen now."
"If they're successful that's job security for us," said Hewitt.
American Airlines is working to reach a deal before February 15th before a non-disclosure agreement signed by American's bond-holders expires.