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Fri, May 09, 2008

United Shuffles Management, Names New Chief Operating Officer

Shuffle Comes Ahead Of Likely Merger Announcement, Sources Say

On Thursday, United Airlines -- said to be in advanced talks about a merger with US Airways -- underwent a top-level game of musical chairs, shuffling executives to positions they may hold in a merged airline.

Reuters reports former UAL chief revenue officer John Tague is now United's new chief operation officer, replacing Pete McDonald... who is now chief administrative officer.

Tague joined United five years ago, after serving as president and CEO of ATA Holdings, parent of now-defunct ATA Airlines. At least one analyst called Tague's new position a good fit for United... and puts the airline's best face forward.

"He's an incredibly talented, exceptionally bright guy," said KKC Aviation Consulting's Stuart Klaskin. "One could say that by putting him out there in this position ... they're putting their best talent out there in the front."

Neither United nor US Airways have officially confirmed merger discussions, though nearly everyone with an eye towards the airline biz believes the carriers will announce a merger proposal very soon.

FMI: www.united.com, www.usairways.com

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