United Airlines CEO will personally give up to $1 million to help employees hurt by Harvey

United Airlines

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has pledged to donate up to $1 million of his own money to aid employees affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to a letter obtained from a source within the airline.

In the letter to employees, Munoz encouraged his co-workers to contribute to United’s employee relief fund and pledged to match up to $1 million in contributions.

Chicago-based United’s hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston has been closed since Sunday and will not reopen before Thursday afternoon as the city continues to deal with devastating flooding.

United has about 11,000 employees based in Houston, and the city is its second-largest hub, behind Chicago. That means the airline will face a particularly big financial hit from the storm — at least $265 million, according to airline analyst Helane Becker of Cowen and Co.

Thousands of flights have been canceled, and Becker said she expects “little chance to recoup the lost revenue.”

Munoz’s letter also said the airline would continue to pay employees scheduled to work while Houston’s airports remained closed, and continue to fly in supplies including food, water and first aid.

“We know the crisis is far from over. We will be there every step of the way going forward. And we will remain committed long after the skies clear and the waters recede in order to help our communities rebuild, stronger than ever,” he wrote.

The airline has been able to operate a handful of humanitarian flights in and out of Houston, including two on Tuesday, bringing in relief supplies and employees and flying out all passengers stranded at the airport.

nited also encouraged customers to donate to relief organizations, pledging to match the first $200,000 in donations and provide up to 3 million bonus frequent flyer miles to customers who contributed through its page on fundraising website CrowdRise.

Read originally published story at: Chicago Tribune

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