WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, announced today that United Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Jeffery Smisek was elected to a two-year term as Chairman of the A4A Board of Directors. American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker was elected to serve as Vice Chairman.
Smisek succeeds Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly.
"Jeff Smisek is a strong advocate for this industry, taking a lead in pushing for airlines to be run and treated as global businesses, so that they can contribute at an even greater level to the economy and jobs. We congratulate Jeff, and look forward to working with him as we continue to work toward a National Airline Policy to address the tax, regulatory and infrastructure challenges that impede our industry and harm our customers,” said Nicholas E. Calio, A4A President and CEO. “We also thank Gary Kelly for his leadership on our Board, his support of A4A and his unmatched commitment to continuously improving the airline industry for customers, employees and communities.”
"I look forward to working with A4A and my industry peers to advocate for the U.S. commercial aviation industry, and for the customers, employees, communities and investors that rely on it to be financially and operationally strong," Smisek said. "This industry can drive even more economic activity and job growth than it does today, and it is in all of our stakeholders' collective interests to make that happen."
Smisek is Chairman, President and CEO of United Continental Holdings, Inc. Prior to the merger of United and Continental, Smisek was Chairman, President and CEO of Continental Airlines, Inc. Smisek joined Continental in 1995 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In 2004, he became President and was elected to the company's board of directors. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in September 2008, and assumed the role of Chairman, President and CEO in January 2010.
Doug Parker is Chairman and CEO of American Airlines Group. Parker became CEO of American Airlines following the merger of US Airways and American Airlines in 2013. Previously, Parker was Chairman and CEO of US Airways. Prior to the merger of US Airways and America West Airlines in 2005, he was Chairman, President and CEO of America West. Parker's experience prior to joining America West in 1995 includes four years with Northwest Airlines as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, and Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. From 1986 to 1991, he held a number of financial management positions with American Airlines.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness. Our member carriers and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic.
America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs. A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.
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