TORONTO - Air Canada's (TSX:AC.B) pilots have elected Paul Strachan as the new president of their union.
An Air Canada pilot since 1999, Toronto-based Strachan replaces Andy Wilson, who is returning to flying.
Strachan, 41, assumes office Oct. 1 and will serve until Dec. 31, 2010.
About half of the 3,000 eligible pilots voted in the special election. Strachan beat two competitors, gaining more than 60 per cent of votes cast.
His term begins as the country's largest airline cuts at least $500 million of costs over the coming years in a bid to return to profitability.
Pilots are among the Air Canada employees who recently agreed to a 21-month contract extension and moratorium on past service pension payments to secure labour peace ahead of the airline receiving a financial lifeline exceeding $1 billion.
Strachan is a former chairman of the association's master executive council and has served on several committees.
Air Canada Pilots Association is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada's mainline fleet.