TULSA, Okla. (AP) — American Airlines announced that airplane maintenance work currently outsourced to South America will be transferred to its maintenance base in Tulsa.

David Seymour, the airline's senior vice president of integrated operations, said the Tulsa Maintenance Base will be working on the CFM56-5B engine, which powers a significant portion of the company's Airbus narrow-body aircraft.

The base, also known as Tech Ops-Tulsa, will take over maintenance on the engine beginning next year, the Tulsa World reported.

Spokeswoman Linda Brock said maintenance on the engine is now done by GE Engine partners in Brazil. The airline will collaborate with its union over the next several months to determine how the work will be supported.

"Tech Ops-Tulsa is here for the long term," Seymour said. "Much like the recent addition of another incremental B737 heavy check line, bringing the -5B to Tulsa builds on the goal of Tulsa performing high-volume, long-running work. When we can identify this type of work and move it to Tulsa, we will."

Brock said that up to 80 positions are needed for the additional work. She said it's unclear if those positions will be new.

"This announcement confirms the commitment of American Airlines to the maintenance base and Tulsa area, thanks to the long-standing performance of the Tulsa technical operations team," Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. "American Airlines serves as a major contributor to our local economy, and we look forward to the continued partnerships with the aerospace industry in Tulsa."

The Tulsa base employs 5,200 people and handles aircraft overhaul and component and avionics repair. It was founded in 1946.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com