Dear Flight Operations Employee,
I am honored to have been chosen as your Senior Vice
President. The people of Flight Operations are the best in the
industry, and I am proud to be one of you.
During my 20 years with United, I believe I’ve come to know
what the people of Flight Operations are about. We are about
honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and excellence. We genuinely
care about our airline, our customers and each other. We want
to work for a winning organization: one that is safe, on time and
satisfies the needs of our employees and customers. We also
have a sense of humor and a love for this sometimes crazy,
always challenging business.
As we move into the next century, we will see unprecedented
change. Many of our leaders will retire or move on to other
pursuits. In Flight Operations, hundreds of pilots and a number
of management and staff employees will move on. This will place
a large burden on the rest of us to ensure a safe and efficient
operation. We’ll need to develop new business processes and
leaders who will support our employees and provide
opportunity for growth. We’ll need to build an even stronger
relationship with our unions and continue to engage union
leadership in charting our company’s future.
Yes, there will be change, but that also brings opportunity.
Whatever changes take place will be made with the involvement
of those who will be directly affected by them, and with a focus
on people. To effect positive change, employees must get
involved in the process, have the authority to make informed
decisions, and take personal responsibility for those decisions.
With that responsibility comes accountability – to our company,
our customers, all shareholders and, most importantly, to each
We spend most of our time focusing on the day-to-day
operation of our airline. I think it’s time to take a longer look at
where we’re headed, what we want Flight Operations to be,
and how we’re going to work together to get there. As I look
10 years into the future, I see many challenges. At our current
growth rate, by 2009, we could have 1,000 aircraft and 17, 800
pilots to fly them. We’ll need a considerable number of people
to support that operation in scheduling, training and dispatch.
We may have a viable supersonic transport, and competition is
sure to intensify. How will we face these challenges? We’ll face
them by tapping the creativity, leadership and potential in each
We work for the greatest airline in the world, flying the best
equipment on the strongest route network. Most of us are here
because we love aviation. Let’s bring a bit of that passion for
aviation to work with us each day. This business is not just
about airplanes, simulators or computers. It’s about people, and
I am certain that we, the people of Flight Operations, will lead
United Airlines into the 21st century.
Captain Steve Forte
Senior Vice President-Flight Operations