Captain Howard Attarian


Captain Attarian is senior vice president of flight operations for United. In this role, Attarian serves as the airline’s FAA certificate director of operations and leads the company’s flight operations division.

His responsibilities include developing and implementing pilot contracts, policies and procedures, overseeing all pilot domiciles, training, flight standards and flight technology, as well as the division’s operating and capital budgets. He is based in Chicago at United’s Willis Tower headquarters. Attarian previously served as vice president of flight operations for United Airlines from 2008 to 2013. Captain Attarian joined United after serving as a pilot for Northwest Airlines for 23 years. Throughout his career at Northwest, he served in several officer positions with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), where he played a key leadership role in contract negotiations. He then served for eight years as the executive administrator to the president of the Air Line Pilots Association International, where he led several projects to merge ALPA’s six pilot groups, as well as serving as a key adviser in the collective bargaining negotiations for Northwest, Delta, Alaska, US Airways and United.

Captain Attarian is a highly decorated and retired commissioned officer and aviator in the U.S. Air Force and a former pilot on the renowned United States Air Force Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds.” He is rated to fly the Boeing 757/767 and 777 aircraft. Captain Attarian holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Kansas State University and is married.

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