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United Airlines Executive to Talk About Challenges Facing the Airline

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April 4, 2006 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON – Peter McDonald, executive vice president and chief operating officer of United Airlines, will discuss the challenges facing United after its recent emergence from bankruptcy when he delivers the 25th Annual William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture Tuesday, April 11, at Northwestern University.

McDonald’s lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Owen L. Coon Forum of the Donald P. Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Sponsored by the University’s Transportation Center, it is free and open to the public.

McDonald, who joined United in 1969, will discuss how the airline – one of the largest legacy carriers operating today – plans to position itself to overcome marketplace difficulties, including high labor costs, increasing fuel prices and aggressive competition from low-cost airline competitors.

As chief operating officer of United since 2004, McDonald has responsibility for the airport operations of United and Ted, United’s own low-fare service established two years ago. These include maintenance and engineering, onboard service, safety and security, flight operations control and system operations control.

The annual Patterson Transportation Lecture honors the late William A. Patterson, founder and chief executive office of United Airlines. The lecture is a part of the endowed Patterson Chair in Transportation, which was established at Northwestern with contributions from United Airlines and more than 60 corporate and 1,200 individual donors.

Northwestern’s Transportation Center, which celebrated its golden anniversary in 2004, is an interdisciplinary research and education institution that is dedicated to improving global transportation and distribution systems. For further information, call (847) 491-2280 or visit the Transportation Center’s Web site at <www.transportation.northwestern.edu>.

Topics: Campus Life