Doug Parker Played an Outsized Role in Saving and Shaping Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 7, 2021) — Following the announcement of American Airlines CEO Doug Parker's retirement, Sara Nelson issued the following statement:

"Doug Parker played an outsized role in shaping the airline industry in a post-9/11 world, only ever taking airlines out of bankruptcy rather than into them. Learning from that crisis and the unions he bargained with, Parker led the industry to a negotiated solution for COVID Relief. The Payroll Support Program—that was the result of labor and industry working together—would not have been possible without Doug’s absolute insistence that we could come together in crisis to achieve solutions. We could save the airlines by saving the people first. No other CEO worked as hard, spent as much time with Congress or the administration, or felt the urgency of keeping people connected to our jobs - not once, but three times. The industry is standing today and able to lift us out of the biggest crisis in aviation history. It was an honor to work with Doug on this seminal achievement.

"We’ve had our disagreements over the past 20 years and no doubt we’ll have a few more before Doug officially retires in April, but his respect for difference of opinion, and recognition that workers have the right to representation is a large part of the reason he’s been able to succeed in even the most difficult times. No doubt the industry, the people in it, and our unions have benefited from the counsel of Gwen Parker, who will forever be part of our Flight Attendant crew and deserves recognition today too.

"Cheers to the Parkers. Here’s to their leadership in bringing people together, respecting every voice, and staying focused on solving problems rather than creating them."


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