CommutAir announced the appointment of Captain David W. Fitzgerald as Chief Pilot after the completion of a methodical internal and external search.
His appointment will be effective upon fulfilling the necessary FAA regulatory requirements.
Captain Fitzgerald comes from Mesa Airlines, where he was a Captain and Check Airman on the Canadair CRJ-700. He has flown over 12,000 hours and holds type ratings for BE-1900D, CL-65, and EMB-145 aircraft. During his 18- year career at Mesa, he also held management positions as Regional Chief Pilot and Certificate Chief Pilot. In those roles, he supervised over 1,000 pilots, helped implement FRMP programs, and facilitated IOSA and DOD audits. Captain Fitzgerald has a BA in Political Science from DePauw University, a Graduate Certificate in Airline Management from George Washington University, and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Captain Fitzgerald joins CommutAir as it begins implementing significant growth plans with the addition of 40 Embraer ERJ145 jet aircraft to its fleet pursuant to the recently announced flying contract with United Airlines, which also introduced the United Career Path Program (CPP) for CommutAir pilots.
“We are thrilled to have been able to attract someone of David’s capability and experience to CommutAir,” said Justin Conrad, Vice President of Flight Operations. “His capability, leadership experience, and compassionate personality will be invaluable in ensuring that we manage the tremendous growth in our pilot ranks” he added.
“It is never an easy decision for a pilot to move to another airline. However, after getting to know the CommutAir people and culture as well as the challenge of the tremendous expansion underway, I am excited about the opportunity,” said David Fitzgerald. “My focus is going to be the maintenance of that collegial culture as we integrate the huge influx of recruits and manage the tremendous growth, promotions and subsequent departures to United under the Career Path Program (CPP),” he added.
CommutAir, operating as United Express, is the d/b/a of Champlain Enterprises Inc., an airline holding company founded in the 1980s. Today, CommutAir operates a large Q200/Q300 fleet with more than 650 weekly flights to 29 airports.