United names flight ops executive

Sean Donohue will lead United Airlines’ Flight Operations and Onboard Service divisions, focused on ensuring industry-leading flight safety and improving the customer experience.
n this newly created role, Donohue will oversee all aspects of flight deck and flight attendant operations, as well as scheduling, training and technology for both pilots and flight attendants. 

In addition, he will have oversight for the company’s food and beverage operation.

“Sean brings extensive operational experience and strong leadership skills to this key position,” said Pete McDonald, United’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“This organizational structure retains focus on the specific critical duties of our pilots and flight attendants, while allowing us to gain efficiencies in the planning and management of both groups.”

Reporting to Donohue will be Capt. Hank Krakowski, who was named vice president of Flight Operations. Krakowski, a Boeing 737 captain, previously served as vice president, Corporate Safety, Security and Quality Assurance. Krakowski has held a variety of positions within United’s operations, including director of Flight Crew Resources and director of Operations Control.


Additionally, Charlie Ahmes has been named vice president of Onboard Service and will report to Donohue. Ahmes previously served as the managing director of Onboard Service operations and has held a number of senior positions within the onboard division.

Paul Carlson, director of scheduling for Flight Operations, and Mark Kilayko, director of scheduling for Onboard Service, will report directly to Donohue as well.

“Our pilots and flight attendants are not only vital to the safety of our operations, they play primary roles in providing our customers with the service and experience we are committed to deliver when they fly United,” Donohue said. “Hank brings a wealth of experience to the Flight Operations team and has worked closely with our pilots in his previous role, while Charlie has a proven track record with our flight attendants and the Onboard Service team.  Both teams will work to bring a more holistic approach to the safe and efficient operation of our flights - all with an eye toward meeting the needs of our customers.”

William Yantiss, director quality assurance, airline operations, will lead United’s safety organization and report directly to McDonald as the company begins a search for a new vice president. Yantiss is highly regarded within the industry and will be a candidate for the permanent leadership position.

“Safety is our company-wide top priority. We have an exceptional team in place to drive forward this critical work as we complete our search for the right long-term leadership,” said McDonald.

United Airlines has also been nominated this year for a


World Travel Award as North America’s Leading Airline.