Envoy Air Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, announced it will establish a new Aircraft Maintenance facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Ark., investing more than $2 million and bringing 60 new jobs to the area over the next five years. The new facility will provide maintenance support for the carrier’s growing fleet of 76-seat Embraer 175 (E175) aircraft.
Envoy’s Vice President of Maintenance Jay Murray, was joined at the airport by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and numerous city officials and business leaders for the announcement.
“Our new Maintenance base in Little Rock will provide scheduled overnight maintenance for up to four E175 aircraft and provide line maintenance for the 15 daily American Eagle flights from Little Rock to American’s hubs in Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago,” said Murray. “This new facility will be staffed by Envoy employees, including Mechanics, Inventory Control Clerks, Management and Support personnel.”
Envoy also operates a Maintenance base in Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) which it established in 2004 and expanded in 2007 to provide maintenance support for the 21 American and American Eagle departures it currently offers from XNA to Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York LaGuardia.
“The aviation and aerospace industry is among Arkansas’ top two exports,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Arkansas is home to more than 180 aviation/aerospace companies and we are proud to add Envoy Air to this list. The fact the Embraer 175 will be serviced in Little Rock reflects the strength of our workforce in the aviation sector. Through Envoy Air’s decision to locate in central Arkansas, 60 of our fellow Arkansans will have great new jobs, building a better quality of life for these families while also growing the state’s economy.”
American Airlines and Little Rock have a relationship dating back more than 80 years, when American Airways operated Little Rock’s first scheduled passenger flight on June 15, 1931 to Memphis, Tenn. American and American Eagle have continuously served the Little Rock community since 1973.
"Little Rock certainly appreciates this investment by Envoy Air and we are glad to strengthen our longtime ties with American Airlines," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. "The Little Rock Airport continues to be a major economic engine for our city and our state thanks to the tireless volunteer efforts of our citizen airport commissioners and airport staff. Our community welcomes these jobs with open arms and we look forward to showing our new neighbors all of the wonderful reasons we call Little Rock home."
Envoy will be making modifications to the existing 37,000 square foot hangar to accommodate the larger E175 regional jets and expects the new facility to be fully operational by year-end.
The State of Arkansas is providing a $500,000 grant from its Economic Development Incentive Quick Action Closing Fund to help fund these hangar modifications.
“Announcements such as this are not possible without teamwork, a talented workforce, and an outstanding community,” said Chairman Virgil L. Miller, Jr., Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission. “The collaboration of the state of Arkansas, the airport commission, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and Envoy Air has resulted in this incredible opportunity that will provide good jobs and convenient maintenance operations for our largest carrier.”
“We are excited that Envoy Air has chosen Little Rock as the home for its newest maintenance base,” said Ronald F. Mathieu, executive director of Clinton National Airport. “Their selection is reflective of the excellent relationship between American Airlines/Envoy and our airport staff that we believe will result in an extremely successful future.”
“These are exciting times for Envoy and our Maintenance organization,” added Murray. “Having teams in both Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock will enable us to support our growing E175 operations in both Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth, and we’re looking forward to hiring many new mechanics and support personnel to operate this beautiful new facility.”