American Airlines is boosting its hiring for maintenance jobs to nearly 800 positions in 2019 with the recent announcement that it will add 400 jobs to its Tulsa, Oklahoma maintenance facility.
According to Erik Olund, managing director of base maintenance at the airline, the added jobs are a result of a maintenance work ramping up in most areas—particularly with the addition of the Boeing 787 to American’s fleet. Olund says special visits for the 787 will begin in October at Tech Ops Tulsa, with scheduled maintenance starting sometime in early 2020.
Mechanics at Tech Ops Tulsa focus on aircraft, engine and component MRO for American’s fleet. In addition to new work on the 787, Olund says American expects to add team members to the Tulsa location’s engine overhaul operation, landing gear shop and 737 overhaul operation.
The addition of the 787 is not the only fleet change the carrier is undergoing. The carrier is retiring the MD-80 this week and Olund says the goal in Tulsa is to provide steady, longer-term consistent work. “As the MD-80 retires, Tulsa will continue focusing on 737 overhaul, engine overhaul and the new 787 work along with more 777 [work],” he explains. “So while fleets are changing, work is still supported in Tulsa.”
Tech Ops Tulsa currently employs more than 5,000 workers and Olund says the carrier will be adding a range of positions and skill levels to its staff. Of the 400 new jobs, American expects more than 300 positions to be A&P mechanics.
Last month, a federal judge in Northern Texas ordered the carrier’s unionized mechanics to end a work slowdown after an ongoing legal dispute that began earlier this year during contract negotiations. Despite the close timing, Olund says the decision to hire so many new mechanics in Tulsa is unrelated to any issues with unionized mechanics.