American Airlines says it plans to recall or hire 200-250 maintenance employees to meet staffing needs in 2008 for an anticipated increase in workloads.

The latest recall follows plans American announced late last week to recall 247 flight attendants to meet projected attrition and staffing levels for next year as well.

The expansion of American’s maintenance workforce is set to start this month, and continue through the first quarter of next year. Staffing levels at line maintenance facilities and at the carrier’s three main overhaul bases in Tulsa, Okla., Fort Worth Texas and Kansas City, Mo will increase.

“While this will be an ongoing process for the next few months, we are very pleased to welcome more people returning to work or starting a career with American,” says carrier senior VP of maintenance and engineering Carmine Romano.

American predicts rising workloads in several different areas including landing gear overhaul on its Boeing 777s/737s, and landing gear overhauls on American Eagle’s Embraer ERJ fleet. The carrier also plans to start heavy checks on General Electric CFM56-7 engines that power its 737-800s. The carrier’s maintenance division is also handling the installation of new lie-flat seats and enhanced inflight entertainment in business class on 767-300s, and first and business class on 777-200s.

Recently American CFO Thomas Horton noted that the carrier’s maintenance, repair and overhaul operation (MRO) was under consideration for divestiture. In addition to handling American’s maintenance, the carrier’s MRO arm also has third-party customers including Allegiant Air. American performs C checks and certain component and landing gear overhauls on Allegiant’s MD-80s.

Earlier this year American’s parent company AMR Corporation said it would invest up to $100 million to grow its third-party maintenance business.

The carrier is currently engaged in labor negotiations with mechanics represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU). Previously, American management and the TWU set of goal of generating $175 million in third-party maintenance revenue by the end of 2007.

* Source:'s sister premium news service Air Transport Intelligence news