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Return to the skies: American Airlines Tulsa team pull planes from storage

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 20:01:11-04

TULSA, Okla. — One of Tulsa’s major employers announced a big rebound Tuesday morning. Representatives at American Airlines’ Tulsa maintenance base said they are ready to get more planes back in the air after spending the past year storing them on the ground.

For AA, the past year included thousands of furloughs. The employees who left the Tulsa facility have been called back, and American will soon hire more.

READ MORE: American Airlines tells workers to 'tear up' WARN notices

“A lot of uncertainty in the beginning but now there’s nothing but optimism,” said Ed Sangricco, managing director of the Tulsa maintenance base.

Seventy planes were deactivated there. Almost all of them are now being reactivated.

“It’s great to start to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Larry Toering, AA’s flight operations technical captain.

The team has a goal of getting planes out by the end of May. There are eight left at the Tulsa base that still need tending.

“Safety is still paramount,” Toering said. “We don’t hurry the process. We take one step at a time and ensure the aircraft safely get back in the air.”

They feel the worst is over, especially because of the vaccine rollout.

“The more people get vaccinated; the more bookings go up. We’ve been hopeful. We feel 2021 is going to be a year of building, of transition,” Sangricco said.


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