United Airlines is not firing a single employee over the controversy involving Dr. David Dao, the passenger forcefully dragged out of his seat because his flight was “overbooked.”
The announcement came straight from United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, who said on a Tuesday conference call:
“It was a system failure across various areas, so there was never a consideration for firing an employee or anyone around it.”
Speaking to Wall Street analysts, Munoz acknowledged “lots of conjecture” regarding his own situation over the April 9 incident and declared that “the buck stops here,” Bloomberg said. He also apologized once more:
“We’ve always thought to repay our customers’ trust with the highest quality of service and deepest level of respect and dignity. We are and will make the necessary policy changes to ensure this never happens again.”
Fortunately for United, corporate customers have reportedly been “supportive” at the height of their public relations debacle. United President Scott Kirby said, “We feel like we’ve managed that pretty well and our corporate accounts are largely supportive. They want us to fix this… But they believe in us and believe that we will get this fixed.”
While the news spread quickly across many Asian countries (a key market), the airline claimed that it’s too early to predict whether bookings will be affected. Investment management firm Morningstar seconded (via South China Morning Post):
“The flight 3411 incident, while undoubtedly a public relations disaster, will most likely not materially affect United’s medium- to long-term financial and operational performance.”
Munoz is slated to visit China soon to meet with officials and discuss the incident. Meanwhile, a petition on Change.org calling for Munoz’s resignation continues to grow.
For more on Dr. David Dao vs United Airlines case, head over here.