Release #: ARW 17.02
September 06, 2017

Air Wisconsin Pilots Return to their Roots with New United Express Agreement

WASHINGTON––Air Wisconsin pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today returned to flying under the United Express banner after a more than 10-year absence. The regional airline announced the new agreement with United Airlines earlier this year.

Air Wisconsin’s first revenue flight for United took off from Norfolk (VA) International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport this morning. The airline plans to open pilot bases at Dulles and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport later this fall. Both airports are hubs for United. At the same time, the airline will gradually phase out its flying as an American Eagle carrier by February of next year.

“Air Wisconsin pilots have a long and proud history providing quality regional service to several mainline carriers, including American Airlines and US Airways,” said Capt. Chris Suhs, chairman of ALPA’s Air Wisconsin group. “But United was our first mainline partner and we are excited to renew our long-term relationship with United as a United Express carrier. For some of us at the airline, today’s flight feels as though the company is returning to it roots.”

Under the new United Express agreement, Air Wisconsin pilots now have access to a career pathway program that will give pilots access to jobs at the larger carrier if they meet United’s hiring standards and other conditions.

“While each airline’s operation differs, the professional pilots of Air Wisconsin remain a constant. Our priority is a safe and secure flight, with each and every takeoff and landing, and the pilots will ensure that continues during our transition to United,” Suhs said. 

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or