American Airlines announced Friday it will spend $550 million on improvements at its Tulsa maintenance base.
Over seven years, American will improve nearly every building on the base, and in early 2021, they’ll start building a 193,000-square foot hangar to accommodate the larger planes in their current fleet and a 132,000-square foot base support building.
"This investment, which includes construction of a new wide body–capable aircraft hangar and base support building, marks the largest investment at a maintenance location in the history of our airline," said American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. "As we’ve said before and what we are all reaffirming today, American Airlines is committed to Tulsa and to the state of Oklahoma."
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the projects represent the largest single capital investment in Tulsa history.
"And I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the confidence that American Airlines has in Tulsa and for their leadership team’s long-term commitment to the men and women who work on this base," Bynum said.
Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal thanked Parker for investing in aerospace industry.
"But we would like to just maybe make one pitch, and one request. We need three or four additional direct flights in and out of this airport. New York La Guardia, Washington Reagan National and maybe one or two others," Neal said.
American employs more than 5,500 maintenance workers and services around 900 planes a year in Tulsa, about half the airline's maintenance work.