American Airlines Maneuvers Through Slump

While the financial crisis has taken its toll on the industry, American Airlines is still moving forward when it comes to its M&E work, said Bob Reding, executive vice president of Operations for American Airlines.
Reding was the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s Oklahoma Aerospace Summit in Tulsa.
In Tulsa, Reding said AA bucks the maintenance outsourcing trend by keeping up to 90 percent of its own work in-house.
“We are the only remaining airline in the country that does over 90 percent of the maintenance, repair and overhaul work on its own fleet,” Reding said. “Our MRO center in Tulsa is the most extensive civilian MRO facility in the world. We outsource less of our maintenance than any other major airline.”
AA employs 6,500 in Tulsa — making it the largest commercial maintenance and repair facility in the industry. AA is one of the Top 10 employers in the state and behind Walmart, the largest private employer. One in every 11 workers in Oklahoma works in aerospace and one in every 11 American Airlines employees works in Oklahoma.
Faced with skyrocketing fuel costs and the economic downturn, American reduced capacity and raised fares to make up for soaring fuel costs.
“At the same time, we launched a new revenue paradigm, introducing a number of service charges for various product attributes including checked bags, food service, confirmed flight changes and reservations assistance,” Reding said.
Last week AA made an announcement it will eliminate 1,600 jobs.
Job cuts loom large again as waning travel demand spurs deeper cuts in seating capacity.
American’s reductions equal about 2.4 percent of the workforce.
Cutbacks in flights and jobs may herald similar steps by other U.S. airlines. Revenue is vanishing as airlines trim fares to lure customers who are flying less because of the recession.

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