Management & Leadership Paper - United Airlines

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  • Topic: Star Alliance, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines
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  • Published : August 24, 2009
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Management and Leadership Paper

United Airlines

United Airlines currently operates nearly 3,000 flights per day on United, as well as United Express. This amounts to more than 200 domestic and international destinations from hubs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver. United is known as one of the largest international airlines that is based in the United States, with global air rights in the Asia-Pacific area, in Europe, and in Latin America. (United Air Lines, 2009)

United’s stock is currently listed National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (NASDAQ) Stock Market, and is listed under the symbol UAUA. United Airlines, as a whole organization continues to be dedicated to cost improvement, increased revenue and sustainable operations that will augment a margin that is most competitive. United’s portfolio of services and products that are offered ensure that customers get the appropriate prices. United also spends a significant investment on their employees in order to instill the right amount of accountability that will ensure operations are at peak-performance levels. (United Air Lines, 2009) Healthy Work Culture

United Airlines spends a lot of time working and negotiating with, the unions and labor-management task forces. In, Workers seek to recoup bankruptcy concessions, there is cause for concern in the area of bankruptcy. The relations between United Airlines and labor-management have gotten to be tense as talks regarding contracts get heavier in a time of financial loss for the airline. Because of the recession, United Airlines, along with many others, have been forced to strategically ground planes in order to cut costs. (USA Today, 2009)

United Airlines is currently the number three carrier serving the globe. However, talks are underway about merging with airlines like Continental, US Airways, AirTran Airways, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Even American Airlines, the current number two airline, has talks regularly with the unions, though no agreements have been contracted. (USA Today, 2009)

Unions currently represent approximately 90,000 flight attendants in the airline industry. This has been the first of many talks for some unions since there were cutbacks in pay and benefits after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. The incident gravely impacted travel and led to the bankruptcy of many airlines. Many airline workers still need to get back what they lost in wages and benefits, and are hoping for a rebound later this year. (USA Today, 2009)

The same discussions are on the fence with the pilots’ unions as well. Many pilots are putting on the pressure by threatening to disrupt flights if they do not receive new contracts. At United Airlines, pilots were accused of breaking the law when they opted for a “sick-out” in 2008 in order to disrupt flights and press United for further negotiations. The resentment still lingers, though the sick-out has long ended. (USA Today, 2009)

Times in the airline industry are increasingly difficult. Since January 2003, the industry as a whole has let go of 75,000 jobs. "United's executives rewarded their shareholders, their banks and themselves," says Captain Steve Wallach, who is the chairman of the pilots union. "Pilots' expectations are high." (USA Today, 2009)

No carriers are in the clear right now. Though most of the major commercial airlines have talks about mergers, most feel that their futures are pretty bleak. "No one in the industry believes airlines are in a position of (financial) strength," says Jeff Brundage, the senior vice president for human resources at American Airlines. (USA Today, 2009)

Many analysts promote the idea of ending the long tradition of rewarding workers, and executives alike, with annual raises that are fixed regardless of the carrier’s profitability. Jerry Glass, a Washington-based consultant and former airline executive, believes that each side would be much...
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