INTERNATIONAL: American Airlines picks its new head of comms

TEXAS: American Airlines, the number two US carrier after United Airlines, has appointed a new marketing and communications chief.

TEXAS: American Airlines, the number two US carrier after United

Airlines, has appointed a new marketing and communications chief.



As executive vice-president for marketing and planning, Michael Gunn has

overall responsibility for the company’s communications. He will oversee

60 PR staff, with general control over a further 29,000 employees

globally, reporting to chairman and chief executive Don Carty.



Prior to his appointment Gunn was AA’s senior vice-president for

marketing and communications. At that stage PR came under the brief of

Tom Kiernan, senior vice-president of human resources, who Gunn reported

to. Gunn has worked for the airline since 1970, and has served as

chairman of the American Travel Industry Association.



The airline is currently trying to implement its Airline Leadership

Plan, to improve its culture, safety systems and service offering.

Gunn’s appointment is part of this, and follows a shake-up of the firm’s

entire boardroom management tier. It is matched by three other

vice-presidential appointments although William Ris remains the

company’s executive vice-president for government relations.



In the US, PR is handled in-house, including internal and corporate

communications, public affairs and financial PR. In Europe, the company

uses agencies on a project basis through its UK HQ in Hounslow. Millbank

PR launched its ’Travelator’ at Bank station on the London Underground,

while Axicom handled PR for its web site, www.aa.com.



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