United CEO Oscar Munoz made headlines earlier this year following the airline’s highly publicized dragging incident, but now his name is in the news for an entirely different reason.
In a letter he penned to United employees on Monday, Munoz vowed to donate up to $1 million of his personal fortune to help United employees affected by Hurricane Harvey, reports Bloomberg. According to the memo, which was supplied to Bloomberg by unnamed sources, Munoz urged his workforce to contribute whatever they could to aid in employee relief efforts, promising to match their donations up to that million-dollar mark.
“We are all in this together, which is why I will personally match your contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million,” wrote Munoz.
The Chicago Tribune further reports that United employs roughly 11,000 people in the Houston area, with Houston being the airline’s second-largest hub after its headquarters in Chicago. Munoz, however, had also written in his letter that employees in Houston will still be receiving pay, despite Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport being closed through at least Thursday.
He also confirmed that the airline will continue to provide food and first-aid to employees affected by the flooding. The airline had already sent “a handful” of planes stocked with supplies to Houston since the George Bush Intercontinental Airport closed on Sunday, the Tribune notes.
Hurricane Harvey has not only wrought havoc on the Houston airport, but also United’s bottom line: According to Helene Baker, an airport analyst for Cowen & Co. who spoke with the Chicago Tribune, the airline stands to lose around $265 million in lost revenue from canceled flights in the wake of the hurricane.
Munoz, meanwhile, wrote that he understands “the crisis is far from over.”
“We will be there every step of the way going forward,” Munoz stated in his letter, reports the Chicago Tribune. “And we will remain committed long after the skies clear and the waters recede in order to help our communities rebuild, stronger than ever.”
A representative for United Airlines was not immediately available to comment.