United Airlines says president and chief executive officer (CEO) Oscar Munoz plans to return to those roles on a full-time basis on 14 March 2016 – resuming all of his duties and responsibilities at that time.
The airline says he has already been participating actively in all major corporate decisions and meeting frequently with employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders during his recovery from a heart attack which he suffered on 15 October.
Munoz says: “I am thrilled to return full-time to a job and the employees I love. Since September when I became CEO, our team has been focused on our employees, improving the operation and the customer experience, and the results are starting to show.
“In fact, over the past several months United has emerged as a top performer in on-time arrivals and completion factor among our largest industry peers. I am grateful to our 85,000 aviation professionals around the world at United for running such a great airline and taking care of our customers.
“Our progress isn’t just limited to the operation. Financially, we have been performing well. United’s 2015 earnings were one of the best in the company’s history, and we made significant progress shrinking the margin gap with our closest competitors, strengthening our balance sheet, and returning significant cash to shareholders.
“United spent $1.2 billion repurchasing shares in 2015 and plans to spend $1.5 billion on share repurchases in the first quarter of 2016. We have a lot of positive momentum, but this is just the beginning. There is significant work underway and we see substantial upside yet to come.”