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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, said Monday that record-breaking aircraft orders from Middle Eastern carriers, totaling $162.6 billion, underscore the need for a U.S. National Airline Policy, in which the U.S. government recognizes the critical role that U.S. carriers play in connecting America to global markets, and creating jobs across the entire economy.
The orders announced at the Dubai Airshow reflect the supportive environment some state-owned foreign competitors experience with their own governments, which is often in direct contrast to the way the U.S. government treats its own carriers. Today, Emirates already has more widebody aircraft than any U.S. carrier, and has more of these large aircraft on order than all four U.S. legacy carriers combined. That disparity fundamentally threatens the ability of U.S. airlines to compete in what is now a dynamic global aviation sector.
“The massive orders from the Middle Eastern carriers at the Dubai Airshow should serve as a wake-up call to our government about the need to implement a National Airline Policy that would help level the playing field, enable U.S. carriers to compete globally and benefit passengers and shippers. America needs strong airlines to connect people and goods to the global economy and to ensure our country’s competitiveness,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Rather than tilting the competitive playing field against U.S. airlines and their passengers, our government must play its appropriate role in enabling U.S. commercial aviation to grow and prosper while presenting even more formidable competition to our global challengers.”
A4A has called for a National Airline Policy to normalize the tax and regulatory environment to be more in line with other industries and enable the U.S. airline industry to grow and prosper – recognizing it as the economic engine that drives 5 percent of GDP and 10 million U.S. jobs.
“We seek fair, no-nonsense policies that enable the entire aviation industry to fulfill its potential to generate good paying jobs and bolster our domestic economy,” said Calio. “Even more important, we want our government to stop actions that benefit state-owned foreign carriers over U.S. carriers.”
Calio noted the growing bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill over the Administration’s misguided decision to establish a Customs and Border Protection preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi, an airport that no U.S. carrier currently serves. Last week, Reps. Pat Meehan (R-PA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced legislation to block the controversial facility, which threatens American jobs and helps foreign competitors at the expense of domestic airlines.