Airline pilot lands in government affairs

WASHINGTON: American Airlines has appointed a veteran pilot to fill its number-two government-relations post, vacated when Ananias "Andy" Blocker was poached by the New York Stock Exchange in October.

WASHINGTON: American Airlines has appointed a veteran pilot to fill its number-two government-relations post, vacated when Ananias "Andy" Blocker was poached by the New York Stock Exchange in October.

Daniel Elwell, a pilot based in Washington, DC, is now MD of international and government affairs, reporting to government affairs SVP Will Ris.

Elwell will work closely with Burson-Marsteller, American's public affairs agency, and a number of consultants. He is charged with managing the airline's relationships with the Bush administration, members of Congress, and trade and international organizations, with responsibility for international aviation agreements and issues.

He will be responsible for negotiating international route authority, reviving the airline's twice-denied bid for a transatlantic alliance with British Airways, and representing the airline's concerns as the government overhauls airport security in the wake of September 11.

American's government-relations team takes its direction from the airline's corporate communications office, headed by Tim Doke, which sets the strategic agenda and relays it to Washington for execution.

Between stints as an American pilot, Elwell has picked up experience in government relations, along with some valuable political connections.

He worked one year at American's government-affairs office after taking leave in 1999 to serve as a legislative fellow for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who sits on the committee overseeing aviation.

Blocker is now VP of government relations at the NYSE, reporting to SVP of government relations Richard Ribbentrop.

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