11 NOVEMBER 2019
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Speaking at the Aviation Club in London last week, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said he would be a passenger on the first Boeing MAX service once the aircraft is recertificated. He was not sure when that might be. United would also reimburse any traveller who decided at the last moment not to fly.
Munoz was a confident, first-rate speaker, which one would expect from an airline chief who returned to work within two months of a heart transplant. He certainly looked fit and robust at the Institute of Directors, whatever the future might hold.
United has been unable to operate its 14 MAX-9 aircraft since the aircraft was grounded in March following two fatal crashes. The airline was due to increase its fleet of the aircraft to 30 by the end of this year, with another 28 due in 2020.
Munoz noted that try as it might, United was having problems recruiting female flight deck crew, which still account for only 9% of pilots. EasyJet has a target of 20% but recently said that it had reached only 12%, noting the airline employed 100,000 staff from 127 countries.
Munoz added that when on a United flight, it was his pleasure to visit all cabins on an aircraft and chat both to travellers (he does not like the word passengers) and team members.
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