United Airlines Pilots Call For CEO To Be Bumped From The Company

It’s been a rough few weeks for United Airlines; once again coming in dead last in an annual customer satisfaction survey of major U.S. carriers, and then posting a quarterly loss of nearly half a billion dollars while Delta and American earned huge profits. Now the leadership of the largest chapter of the United pilots union is making no attempt to hide their disapproval of CEO Jeff Smisek.

The Street reports that in an April 25 letter to the 2,300 members of the Air Line Pilots Association chapter representing United’s pilots based in Newark and New York, chapter officers write that “It’s time to find a new CEO who understands how to run an airline, not just make excuses for his failures.”

The three officers explain that they “have absolutely zero confidence in the ability of present management to lead a turnaround.”

The letter takes issue with what are apparently still-lingering growing pains resulting from United’s merger with Continental. That deal was approved in 2010 and the two carriers have been operating as a single entity since 2012.

“[A] merger that should have been completed in three years or less remains incomplete after nearly four years (and) interdepartmental communication and cooperation are nearly nonexistent,” reads the letter, which also cites “terrible employee morale and excessive outsourcing… combined with chronic operational and IT issues” as a reason that United’s highest tier of frequent fliers have left the airline “in droves,” according to union leadership.

“No one else has a greater financial stake in United Airlines than the collective stake of our pilots,” explains the letter. “Our careers should not be jeopardized by the worst senior management in the airline industry.”

This is just the opinion of the leadership of one chapter of the union. The other chapters will have their say when they all meet in Chicago next week.