Southwest Airlines will have maintenance on some of its flight performed in El Salvador according to Dallas area news reports:
Many U.S. airlines already outsource maintenance to foreign countries. The company Southwest will use in El Salvador, Aeroman, has already performed heavy maintenance work for other major U.S. Airlines.
But, unions and consumer groups have objected to outsourcing, questioning the safety and oversight of work performed outside of the U.S., where mechanics are paid less than their American counterparts.
Last year, BusinessWeek reported that mechanics at Aeroman make between $4,500 and $15,000 a year, while U.S. airplane mechanics earn an average of $52,000 a year.
Southwest said it's confident that its new foreign maintenance provider is well qualified for the job. "They pass all or our really stringent tests for safety. They have a great track record," Flanagan said.
The union that represents Southwest's mechanics previously agreed to allow a limited amount of work to be outsourced to a foreign company last year, in a new contract with the airline.
Read more about Aeroman's success in getting aircraft maintenance work from the US airlines in my blog post here.