WASHINGTON, D.C., May 11—Burson-Marsteller has strengthened its aviation and transportation practices with two new hires. Chris Chiames of American Airlines has joined the firm as managing director in the aviation, transportation and tourism group, while Matt Triaca, formerly of United Airlines, has joined as manager in the same group.

According to Richard Mintz, chair of the firm’s public affairs practice, “The airline industry is the NFL of American business—arguably generating more media coverage and more passion than any other. From crisis communications and public advocacy to marketing and litigation support, Burson-Marsteller provides a complete offering of communications and public affairs counsel.”

Chiames comes to Burson-Marsteller directly from American Airlines, where he spent five years as managing director of public relations, heading up the media relations and labor communications staff.  Previously, he held government affairs and communications positions with the airline industry’s trade group, the Air Transport Association. He began his Washington career as press secretary to former House Majority Whip Tony Coelho (D-California).

Triaca joins from United Airlines, where he was media relations manager, with responsibilities for United’s international operations and service in the western U.S.
NEW YORK—Also joining Burson-Marsteller is utilities industry expert Ira Fine, who will serve as a manager in the New York public affairs practice. Fine spent the past ten years at the New York Power Authority as a senior information specialist for one of the largest providers of power in the state. Previously, he was business editor of The Asbury Park Press.