Decreased revenue, higher fuel prices and a recent credit rating downgrade were all contributing factors that led American Airlines to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the company's CEO and Chairman Tom Horton.
Horton says American will pay almost two billion dollars more in fuel this year than last. "That was a real kick in the teeth we didn't need this year," says Horton. "But it's a reality and our company is facing reality so we are moving forward."
No word on what this means for the future of Tulsa's maintenance base, or its nearly 7,000 employees, but officials say they will be evaluating all facilities and that it's "likely changes will be necessary," according to a press release.
Horton says the company has $4.1 billion in cash and investments to get them through this Chapter 11 process and continue business as usual for its customers.
He also points to the ordering of 460 new airplanes this summer as a reason to remain confident.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett echoes the statements about the new planes to ease concerns of employees at the maintenance base. "They [the new planes] require a lot of maintenance. We have the capability, we've been doing it here for several decades and they [American] have to maintain their fleet," says Bartlett.
American and Southwest were the only major U.S. airlines that didn't file for bankruptcy protection after the 2001 terrorist attacks.