United appoints Hart operations chief

Washington DC
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Greg Hart will take over as chief operations officer at United Airlines from Pete McDonald who is retiring.

Hart, who comes from the former Continental Airlines side of the business, will oversee airport operations, cargo, technical operations, network operations flight operations, inflight service, safety and food services in his new role.

“Our team and our board of directors are confident that Greg will successfully lead our operations groups as we focus on improving our operational quality and efficiency while running an on-time airline with great customer service,” says Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive of United, in a statement.

The Chicago-based carrier experienced significant operational disruptions in 2012, which it attributed to the poor reliability of United-legacy aircraft and too few spares. It has since returned to reliable operational performance but still faces revenue and cost challenges.

McDonald has been chief operating officer since 2010, but worked at the legacy United side of the business since 1969.

Hart was previously senior vice-president of technical operations at the airline. He joined Continental in 1997.