CommutAir signs CEO Rick Hoefling for extended term to facilitate growth plan

North Olmsted, OH, May 23, 2021 — “We are pleased to retain Rick Hoefling’s experience and leadership as President & CEO, to guide CommutAir through a period of unprecedented growth,” said John A. Sullivan, CommutAir’s Executive Chairman. “Our flight schedule has already recovered to pre-COVID levels, and since last October we have added nearly thirty aircraft to our active fleet.  Rick’s leadership in negotiating a new, extended flying contract with United Airlines has provided incredible opportunities to our more than 1,300 CommutAir team members.”


Rick Hoefling joined CommutAir in January 2019 as President and CEO.  Under Hoefling’s leadership, the company has grown from serving two of United’s hubs – Newark Liberty International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport – to four, having added Denver International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport at Houston.  Houston is now the company’s largest single hub operation.  In June the company is scheduled to begin international service to destinations in Mexico and expects to resume service to Canada as soon as the border reopens.   In addition, with a total of 168 aircraft under lease, CommutAir now maintains the largest ERJ145 fleet in the world.  CommutAir’s board extended Hoefling’s contract to December 31, 2024.


Rick Hoefling added, “It has been my privilege to lead CommutAir through this especially challenging period for the airline industry. I am grateful for our board’s support, and I am now looking forward to the opportunities that will arise through the recovery in air travel.  Through the rest of 2021, CommutAir will induct an additional twenty aircraft into service and we will add more than 500 new pilots, flight attendants, and technicians to our team, as well as adding additional maintenance facilities.”


Prior to joining CommutAir, Hoefling retired from a 34-year career at United Airlines, where he most recently served as Vice President – Newark, overseeing the carrier’s more than 450 daily departures at Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports with a combined staffing of more than 14,000 employees. Hoefling previously led United’s Station Operations Center at Newark and was responsible for the hub’s strategic planning and business development. In addition, he has coordinated air traffic systems and emergency response teams, designed and executed business continuity plans, and overseen all facilities maintenance and vendor contracts at the hub.  In 2019, Rick and his wife, Tracy, relocated to Cleveland.



Founded in 1989, CommutAir is a regional airline operating flights on behalf of United Airlines as United Express. With our fleet of Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, we operate more than 200 daily flights, connecting people and communities to the world via United’s global network. Headquartered in Cleveland, we have hubs in Denver, Houston, Washington Dulles, and Newark, with a maintenance base in Albany, New York. We are looking for individuals to join our more than 1,300 diverse professionals who work together to deliver safe, caring, dependable, and efficient service.