Issue No. 813

American Tech Ops' Post-Pandemic Future

The MRO Switches From Storing Jets to Getting Them Ready for Flight

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Early in the pandemic, American's Tulsa, Okla., maintenance base spent a lot of its time readying aircraft for long-term storage. Now, it's doing precisely the opposite as the world's largest carrier starts to pull its aircraft out of mothballs. We take a look at that pivot in this week's Feature Story.

Since the pandemic began, more than 1,500 aircraft have been pulled out of service, with many of those permanently retired, Boeing's CEO David Calhoun said. This could be a golden opportunity for the airframers when airline industry growth resumes, as airlines seek to replace that lost lift with new jets. But the heads of both Boeing and Airbus think this could be years off. That's in stark contrast to U.S. airline CEOs, who think the summer will be busy as vacationers take long-delayed holidays (although business and international travel remain in the doldrums).

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury thinks the recovery will not be "linear," to use his word. While the U.S. and domestic China get ready for a busy summer, Brazil is just starting to emerge from a devastating wave of the disease, and India has descended into a public-health catastrophe. The Australia-New Zealand travel bubble showed signs of strain when a few passengers inadvertently breached the sanitary cordon (but the bubble so far still remains intact), and some have begun to whisper that the Tokyo Olympics may not occur as Japan grapples with a slow vaccine roll out. Meanwhile, airlines and governments can't agree on a single standard for vaccine documentation. Faury's right. There's a long and twisting recovery ahead of us yet before those "green shoots" start to grow.


"Based on the experience of airlines in the United States and the United Kingdom, countries that are more advanced than Brazil in the rollout of vaccines, we expect the national program for immunization to positively impact the normalization of demand for air travel in Brazil."

Gol CEO Paulo Kakinoff

Weekly Skies

A big question in the executive suites of the world’s airlines is: When and how will lucrative business travel return?


Echoing many of his peers at airlines, Boeing CEO David Calhoun thinks this year will be an "inflection point" for the manufacturer, as it seeks to iron out its production issues and return to growth and profits.

Sky Money

Aircastle has beefed up its $1 billion revolving credit facility. The lessor added two banks to the 10 backing the facility, and extended the maturity by three years to 2025. Aircastle can draw on the facility as needed.Tis the season…

Routes and Networks

British Airways is the latest to jump on the Eastern Europe bandwagon amid a flurry of new summer flights. BA will connect its London Heathrow hub with Gdansk and Wroclaw in Poland; Riga, Latvia; and Cluj-Napoca, Romania, from July. Flights…

State of the Unions

Citing the continued travel recovery, Delta Air Lines plans to hire 75 pilots this summer. The move comes after the airline paused hiring, and sought voluntary outs from its cockpit crews, early in the coronavirus pandemic last year. Delta Operations…

Feature Story

One of the largest airline maintenance facilities in the world sits on the edge of the Ozark foothills in Tulsa, Okla. There, American Airlines can work on any of its more than 850 mainline jets in a sprawling 330-acre facility…