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) -- The newly-elected president of the Air Line Pilots Association said he will bring the same inclusive approach that made him successful at


(DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report

to national pilot issues.

Lee Moak, a 22-year Delta pilot, took over as president of the Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association in October 2005. On January 1, 2011, he will become the ninth president of ALPA, the largest pilots union with nearly 53,000 members at 38 airlines. He was elected in a four-way race.

Lee Moak, newly-elected president of the Air Line Pilots Association

"I believe you need to engage with everyone who has an impact on the pilot profession and the airline profession," Moak said in an interview Thursday with


. "That includes management, all levels of government, Wall Street and others.

"You have to dialogue with them and you have to take a common sense approach," he said. "That is what has always worked at Delta and I believe it can work at a national level."

Asked his priorities as a national leader, Moak responded: "Our priorities will be developed in a team fashion, but in front of us right now is mainline and regional consolidation in an industry that is becoming profitable for the first time in 10 years, which provides an opportunity to improve pay and working conditions for U.S. pilots."

Moak took office at Delta two weeks after the carrier filed for bankruptcy protection and quickly became one of the most influential union leaders in airline industry history. During his tenure, he

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enabled the success of the merger between Delta and


, taking the view that if the airline wins, its pilots win too.

Subsequently, pilots at American and United ousted confrontational pilot leaders who accomplished little, and replaced them with

new leaders more committed to the Moak model of achieving success through engagement.

In a

recent letter to Delta pilots, Moak summarized his approach, quoting Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese warrior and author of The Art of War, as saying: "It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune."

One of the thorniest problems confronting ALPA is that in 2008, pilots at

US Airways


split off from the union after 58 years of membership and formed a new union called the U.S. Airline Pilots Association. The change came in reaction to a controversial seniority ruling, issued as part of ALPA's seniority integration process, following the 2005 merger of US Airways with America West.

The two pilot groups remain bitterly divided and continue to work under separate contracts. But Moak said he believes ALPA can play a role in reconciling them. "There's absolutely a fix," he said. "It will take all parties coming together with an open mind and addressing issues. ALPA can help with that."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Ted Reed