WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s decision to appoint David Berg to serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Berg, A4A’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, will serve a two-year term as a member of the board where he will advise Sec. Pritzker on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry, and the critical role U.S. airlines play in connecting the world and contributing to the global economy.
The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board advises the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry, offers counsel on current and emerging issues, and provides a forum for discussing and proposing solutions to industry-related problems.
Berg noted the important contribution airlines make in facilitating international trade and tourism. Air travelers journeying to and from the United States reached a record 185.4 million in 2013. The Department of Commerce reported that international visitor spending in the United States totaled $181 billion in 2013, with $41 billion spent on U.S. airlines helping to generate an additional $140 billion on the purchase of other U.S. travel and tourism goods and services. The United States traded a record $940 billion of merchandise by air last year, much of it in high-value items, including $431 billion in exports. Notably, the value of a kilogram exported by air was 129 times the value of a kilogram transported by sea.
“The U.S. airline industry is indispensable to our nation and its economy, and it’s imperative for our government to implement policies that make air travel to the United States more attractive in order draw even more visitors to our country,” said Berg. “I am honored to serve on this prestigious board and look forward to working with Sec. Pritzker and my colleagues to further enhance the critical role air travel, tourism and shipping play as key drivers of U.S. job creation and economic growth.”
Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.
A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.