American Airlines, Employer of John McCain’s Son, Shares Heartfelt Response to Senator’s Passing

Aug 26, 2018

On Saturday evening, the United States lost one of its heroes and true patriots: senior Arizona senator John McCain. Shortly after the news of his passing, American Airlines’ CEO Doug Parker released a statement about what John McCain meant to the airline and US aviation.

The CEO expressed his condolences to the McCain family “and all Americans on the passing of Senator John McCain,” referring to the senator as a true American hero, a role model and a friend.

In addition to Doug Parker’s friendship with the Arizona senator, the airline itself has a personal connection with the family. John McCain’s eldest son, Doug, has worked for the airline for more than 25 years.

A former US Navy pilot like his father, Doug currently works as an American Airlines Airbus A321 captain. He frequently flies the Airbus A321T sub-fleet on flights between New York’s Kennedy (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).

John was also a frequent flyer on American Airlines — and its predecessors US Airways and America West — on its route between Phoenix (PHX) and Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) as he commuted between his home and Washington DC. His warm personality made him a favorite of airline employees on the ground and on-board.

Here’s Doug Parker’s full statement:

Senator John McCain was a true American hero. He dedicated his life to serving his country and to just causes larger than himself. He fought for the American people and American values with unwavering courage, integrity and honor.

As a former Navy pilot and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator McCain had great respect for the United States commercial aviation industry and the hard-working professionals who serve within it. We are extremely grateful for the work Senator McCain did on behalf of our team members, most notably in the aftermath of 9/11, both for American Airlines and a predecessor airline, America West. American would not be what it is today without the principled support of Senator McCain and our 130,000 team members are forever grateful.

On a personal note, Senator McCain became a friend over the years. I always enjoyed seeing him in Washington or at Phoenix Suns games. He had a great sense of humor and a passion for doing what was right. He was and is a role model for me and anyone who ever spent time with him.

Senator McCain will be sorely missed but his impact lives on. We will not forget his shining example of patriotism based on the ideals of freedom and equality for all and global leadership by the United States in support of those ideals.

We, like all Americans, mourn the loss of Senator McCain and extend our condolences to the entire McCain family, including John’s son, American Airlines Captain Doug McCain.

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