12 August, 2021

Alaska Airlines names new vice president of maintenance and engineering

Alaska Airlines' board of directors elected aviation veteran Donald Wright vice president of maintenance and engineering, effective Aug. 23, 2021. Wright will assume the role formerly held by Constance von Muehlen who was appointed Chief Operating Officer on April 3. In his new role, Wright will lead 1,346 employees, including the technical operations team, and oversee the safety, compliance and operational performance of the airline's mainline Boeing and Airbus fleet.

Wright is joining the company after recently retiring from United Airlines, where he served as vice president of maintenance operations, responsible for more than 6,500 line maintenance employees at 45 stations as well as third-party aircraft maintenance vendors globally. 

"Don is a strong strategic leader with a proven track record of operational performance improvement and vast industry experience leading technical operations," said von Muehlen. "As a forward thinker in process improvement and a fierce advocate for safety and compliance since his early days as a certificated aircraft technician, I am confident Don will support and lead the Maintenance & Engineering team to new heights."

While at United, and previously Continental Airlines, Wright held various leadership roles, including vice president of the Newark hub, where he was responsible for Newark, JFK and LaGuardia operations. He was also managing director of technical operations in LAX, accountable for aircraft line maintenance operations in the western United States and the Asia/Pacific regions. 

Wright first joined Continental Airlines in 1988 as an international maintenance representative in Sydney, Australia, and quickly rose through the ranks to lead teams around the world including Asia/Pacific, Europe and Latin America. 

Wright launched his career with Qantas Airways as an aircraft maintenance engineer, the Australian equivalent to an FAA-licensed aircraft technician and holds an FAA airframe and powerplant certificate. 

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