Tulsa Flying High with AA Merger
American Airlines and US Airways have announced a merger that is receiving positive support in the Tulsa region.
American Airlines (, Corp.), one of Tulsa’s largest employers, and US Airways have announced a merger.
Responding to the announcement, Mike Neal, president and of the Tulsa Regional Chamber provides the following statement: “While the American Airlines restructuring process was difficult at times, it ultimately proved successful as thousands of high-paying jobs were saved in our community. Across the country, today’s corporations are making decisions based on economies of scale. We are confident US Airway’s decision to merge with American Airlines, a longstanding corporate partner in Tulsa, will ultimately keep thousands of high-paying aerospace and manufacturing jobs here, in our community.”
A merger such as this is not seen often. US Airways is a rising star in the airline industry, and this merger will create the world’s largest airline. American Airlines, a beacon of our nation’s history, and of Tulsa’s history, has been home to generations of skilled-workers. Tulsa’s manufacturing and aerospace workforce excels above all, a fact that did not go unnoticed during the fifteen month restructuring process. American’s highly-skilled Tulsa area employees contributed to the company’s success over a sixty-year period.
The newly formed company will have a robust network with more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries, a strong financial foundation and one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry. Today’s announcement is outstanding for the Tulsa region and a win for Oklahoma.
The Chamber welcomes American Airlines and US Airways as a continued corporate partner in Tulsa and encourages the company’s commitment to the success of the Tulsa maintenance base, the largest non-military base in the world, indirectly influencing the success of the suppliers and other businesses that serve the maintenance base.
The Chamber has been working with both companies for months striving to realize the best outcome for the employees at the American Airlines and for the Tulsa region. Working with Governor Mary Fallin, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, the Tulsa County Commission and other regional partners, we will maintain regular contact with the newly formed company in effort to encourage the company’s positive position to grow and continue investments in the Tulsa region.”
Commenting on the merger, Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. says, “The city of Tulsa is grateful that American Airlines and US Airways are committed to Tulsa and that our future in the aerospace/aviation industry looks very bright.
We’re thankful for the leadership of the entire community. From the beginning, 18 months ago, 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.”
The merger announcement is of particular relevance because the aerospace industry is a primary target industry of a number of Chamber-led initiatives to grow and sustain workforce in the Tulsa region.
Through its privately funded, five-year economic development plan, Tulsa’s Future, the Chamber focuses efforts on target industries – those most concentrated in the Tulsa region with the greatest growth potential. Aerospace is one of these industries. In 2009, the Chamber hired an aerospace industry professional to serve as director of aerospace/aviation development tasked with strengthening retention, expansion and recruitment of Tulsa-area aerospace companies and identifying areas of improvement to make the region more attractive to relocating aerospace businesses. Aerospace is the only target industry represented with a Chamber staff person.
In addition to its focus on the aerospace industry, the Chamber dedicates resources, including ChooseTulsaJobs.com, to recruit skilled labor to the region while also connecting our employment base to training options. The Chamber also convenes area education resources, such as Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Tech, and other colleges and universities’ engineering programs to collaborate on aerospace-specific employee training.