US regional carrier CommuteAir has extended chief executive Rick Hoefling through 2028 with a contract amendment recently approved by the company’s board of directors. 

Cleveland-based CommuteAir, which operates a fleet of Embraer ERJ-145s for United Airlines under the United Express brand, disclosed Hoefling’s extension on 21 March. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

CommuteAir’s board of directors has amended CEO Rick Hoefling’s contract, extending it through 2028

Hoefling has worked as president and CEO of CommuteAir since January 2019, following a 34-year career with United. He has navigated the downturn of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the subsequent pilot shortage that squeezed regional carriers hardest. 

“Rick has steered CommuteAir through a pandemic and we have emerged as a larger company with a stronger balance sheet,” says John Sullivan, CommuteAir’s co-founder and executive chairman. “I’m pleased that we will retain Rick, so he can build on that success in the coming years.”

”Under Hoefling’s leadership, the company’s ERJ-145 operations have grown by more than 50%,” the carrier says.

In October, the regional airline took delivery of a single E170 for planned charter operations. At the time, Hoefling told FlightGlobal that the jet would launch charter flights in the first half of this year – and could eventually lead to the company adding more larger regional aircraft. 

“In 2024, in addition to growing our core business as a United Express operator, we will begin offering charter operations on our E170 aircraft, adding heavy maintenance capability to our Lincoln, Nebraska hangar, in-sourcing the work on our fleet and provide services for other airlines,” Hoefling says. 

CommuteAir currently has 53 ERJ-145s in service and another 43 in storage, according to Cirium fleets data.