United Pilot Union happy with the selection of new United CEO Scott Kirby

United CEO Oscar Munoz stepping down

United announced today that the current CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz will step down from his position in May of 2020 in favor of the new United CEO J. Scott Kirby.

This according to a United press release, as well as a letter issued to United’s pilots from Captain Todd Insler, the Master Chairman of the United MEC (Master Executive Council) of ALPA (Airline pilots Association).

Scott Kirby, new United CEO

Scott Kirby became the President of United Airlines in August 2016. He has helped grow United’s global network and he has returned United to the ranks of the best airlines in the world.

Captain Insler said,

“On behalf of the pilots of United Airlines, I congratulate Scott on this promotion; he has earned it. We now look forward to working with him as CEO and building on the solid foundation put in place by Oscar.”

The United-branch of the ALPA Pilots Union feels that Scott Kirby is in a position to continue the momentum for United Airlines. He should be able to continue to drive United’s success going forward.

Video: J. Scott Kirby and Oscar Munoz, two great airline executives

Oscar Munoz and Scott Kirby conversing. Video: United Airlines

Oscar Munoz, current CEO

According to ALPA, Oscar Munoz has done an outstanding job as CEO of United Airlines.

Captain Insler said,

Oscar worked closely with ALPA from day one, and together we (Editor note: the United pilots) have successfully turned United around.

In March of 2016 activist investors attempted to take control of the United board. At that point, Oscar Munoz took the courageous step of returning to his position after heart surgery, to steer the airline in the right direction.

Captain Insler continued,

“Our returning CEO, Mr. Oscar Munoz, has renewed hope in our pilots through his genuine belief in our product and our people. The pilots of United Airlines share his vision and fully support Mr. Munoz. We will work with him to reestablish United Airlines as the industry leader.”

new United CEO Scott Kirby and Oscar Munoz on stage
Oscar Munoz (left), Scott Kirby (right). photo: United Airlines.

What Oscar Munoz has done to make United such a success

Some United employees consider Oscar Munoz to be an airline CEO that can be compared to the likes of the former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune. Gordon Bethune is considered one of the best airline CEOs ever. He wrote a book about how he turned Continental around to success in “From Worst to First”.

From worst to first, Gordon Bethune, new United CEO Scott Kirby
Gordon Bethune

Mr. Munoz maneuvered a leadership team into place, which elevated the culture at United to new and successful heights.

Captain Insler said,

“Our current success proves that when management takes care of the employees, the employees will take care of the operation.”

Not a retirement for Oscar Munoz

In spite of passing the baton to Kirby, Oscar Munoz won’t be out of the picture anytime soon. He will take the position as Executive Chairman of the Board of directors of United Airlines Holdings, Inc.

United pilot contract

The United Pilot Agreement is currently almost a year past the amendable date. Captain Insler says that his Union expects Mr. Kirby to consider completing the pilot negotiations to be a primary goal.

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Publisher note: What do you think about the change of leadership at United Airlines. Do you agree that new United CEO Scott Kirby is the perfect person to create a smooth transition from Oscar Munoz to carry the airline towards continued great success? You can send your comments here, attention: Loreta Ortiz, for possible inclusion to any update to this article.

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