Urges lawmakers to address hostile government policies preventing carriers from contributing to jobs and the economy at an even higher level than they do today
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 – Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio testified today before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, addressing the critical role airlines play in driving economic growth and job creation across the U.S. and globally. Calio urged members of the Committee to address fundamental tax, regulatory and infrastructure challenges, which negatively impact the industry’s long-term viability and global competitiveness.
In his testimony before the panel, Calio noted that commercial air travel remains one of the best consumer bargains in America, given its superior speed and price versus other means of travel. Calio also noted that while aviation drives more than 10 million U.S. jobs and over $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity, it continues to operate under government policies that exhibit indifference and, often, outright hostility to the industry, employees, customers and the communities they serve.
“Airlines continue to demonstrate that customers, employees and the U.S. economy all are vastly better off with a financially strong U.S. airline industry that can continue to reinvest in its product and service improvements and create more good paying jobs,” said Calio.
Calio said the global airline industry of 2014 is very different from 1978, having gone through deregulation, external crises, global recession and significant work to improve its operations and financial status. He urged members of the Committee to make certain government plays its appropriate role in ensuring U.S. commercial aviation is operating on a level playing field with foreign competitors whose governments recognize them as strategic assets to their lives and economy and have adapted accordingly.
“U.S. airlines are indispensable to our nation and its economy, and we want to contribute even more to the prosperity of America,” said Calio. “We continue to urge Congress and the Administration to implement a coherent National Airline Policy, enabling carriers to respond with maximum effectiveness to global competition.”
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.