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United Takes Steps to Move Business Plan Forward

United Airlines today
announced that it has extended a request for proposal (RFP) to a number of
regional airlines to provide up to 70 regional jets to the United Express
network. These jets will be used to cover capacity currently operated by
Air Wisconsin, one of United’s six United Express partners. The RFP is not
expected to increase the overall size of the fleet at United Express.
Rather, United expects that under the terms of the bids it receives, the
cost of the capacity currently operated by Air Wisconsin will likely be
reduced. Additionally, the RFP will provide United with an opportunity to
fine-tune the mix of smaller and larger regional jet aircraft in the
United Express fleet. “As we continue with our cost-control efforts, we must look at every area
of the company and within every contract we have,” said Sean Donohue, vice
president-United Express and Ted. “Air Wisconsin is a long standing,
valuable partner for United Airlines that performs well for us today, and
we look forward to productive discussions with Air Wisconsin and other
potential bidders. We must ensure we are paying market rates for our
United Express service. By requesting competitive bids from a number of
regional airlines, we are confident we will secure proper market rates for
our United Express contracts while providing our customers with safe,
reliable service throughout our United Express network.”

United submitted the RFP to 10 regional airline companies including all of
its existing partners. Initial proposals are due back to United by Dec.
10. Companies that received an RFP include: Air Wisconsin, Trans States,
Chautauqua, Mesa, SkyWest, Independence Air, Horizon, Pinnacle, Mesaba and
Express Jet.

“Every aspect of our business has got to be competitive. We will meet the
goal of lowering our costs by an additional $2 billion, about one-third of
which we expect to come from non-labor costs,” said Peter D. McDonald,
executive vice president and chief operating officer.