American Airlines will keep some form of an overhaul base at KCI into the near future. The mayor and a top airline vice president say so after a 90-minute city hall meeting.
Financially wounded American Air will honor its million-dollar-a-year lease with the city, which owns the base. The contract calls for keeping 700 jobs there. However, neither side will address whether the jobs requirement is still intact in the 25-year contract term.
Industry sources expect as many as 600 job cuts as the main operation moves to Tulsa. American's Vice President for Operations, Fred Cleveland, won't say, saying he doesn't know how many will lose jobs. In his words:
"I can't(say) at this time. We're just starting that process. Six to eight months is the window that we're targeting to do the reduction in."
There are 22 years left on the lease, and neither side will rule out future lump sum buyout.