Ladies and Gentlemen:
As we prepare to ring in New Year 2017, each of us according to our family history and traditions, the customs from around the world remind us of our diversity. In England, the New Year is welcomed in a tradition of hospitality and warmth in the bearing of gifts. In Denmark, using piles of broken dishes, friendship and brotherhood are celebrated and demonstrated in the circumstance where he who ends up with the greatest pile of broken dishes is seen to have the most friends. In China, happiness and good fortune are celebrated through the painting of every front door with red paint. Brazil values lentils as signs of wealth and prosperity where Belgium welcomes the New Year through a series of family parties promoting comradery and a spirit of togetherness.
New Year’s marks the day on the calendar that signifies starting a clean slate, a real sense of hope. For many celebrating the arrival of the New Year, it is an opportunity to learn from the prior year and make positive changes for the future. Many of the resolutions made for positive changes are based on past accomplishments, always with an eye toward the future. In our collective environment, a critical component of moving forward is the celebration of our accomplishments within the context of our varied and shared histories.
We are our past. United & Continental Airlines are products of industry mergers and consolidations that have taken place over the past ninety years. From the early beginning of the industry, we are Varney Air Lines, National Air Transport, Pacific Air Transport, Stout Air Lines & Air Transport Inc. As the airline grew it merged the operations of Capital Airlines and the Pacific, South American and London operations of Pan American.
Over part of this same ninety years, Continental Airlines began service in 1934 as Varney Speed Lines, renamed later that same year to Varney Air Transport ultimately becoming known as Continental Airlines in July of 1937. Over the years since 1937, the airline merged the operations of Frontier, New York Air, Texas International Airlines, Central Airlines and People Express. The airline acquired the original Air Micronesia founded May 1, 1968 which later became known as Continental Micronesia and part of the combined airline certificate in October 2010 with the merger of United and Continental Airlines.
The fact is, we all come from somewhere. Our combined, now shared, past is a proud one. We bring our unique talents, skills and historical cultural perspectives to our work. We are better for having had these separate experiences and are joined by the similarity in how we have arrived at this juncture in the history of our individual airlines. As a result of these experiences, we are now inextricably joined together as we make our way into an unknown future.
We are our present. New Year 2017 signals the official merger of our pre-merger Master Executive Councils and our official beginning as a combined Flight Attendant work group with a single voice. This new day presents us with a world of opportunities where you are not only encouraged to, but welcomed to participate in shaping our collective future. You are being asked to take part in molding not only the future of our chosen career but the future of our profession. This is the choice before each of us as we begin the New Year.
Together, we will craft and shape our future. Everything each of us does helps to lay the foundation for our future. Collectively, we can achieve anything we decide together will build our future, bolster our careers and strengthen our profession.
As our New Year’s customs and traditions vary, so do our definitions of success. Genuine success, however defined, comes only to those who are ready to grab the opportunities when they are presented. In order to do so, we must not only recognize the opportunities when they are presented but have the collective strength and courage to accept the new challenges as we work to mold it into that which we collectively define as success for our careers and profession. We look to the future with great optimism and remain convinced we will all be able to shape our future and make our own history when we dedicate ourselves to making a difference in all that we do.
On behalf of the entire United Master Executive Council and the many volunteers who daily serve our Members, we extend our best wishes to you and your family for a safe and enjoyable New Year’s celebration. May 2017 be a year filled with good health, prosperity and joy where, together, we courageously face the challenges that will be presented and shape our collective future. Happy New Year!
The Officers of the United Master Executive Council