Statement from A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio Upon the Resignation of Secretary Elaine L. Chao

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2021 – On behalf of Airlines for America (A4A) and our member carriers, we sincerely thank Secretary Elaine Chao for her dedicated service over the past four years as the head of the Department of Transportation (DOT). She is a proven leader who consistently applied her vast knowledge of aviation and other transportation issues.

During her tenure at DOT, she was guided by her steadfast commitment to safety. She worked collaboratively with the FAA and other agencies to prioritize safety, keeping commercial aviation the safest mode of transportation in the U.S. and around the world. Additionally, she successfully worked to ensure that aviation rulemakings were effective, driven by data and rooted in science to the benefit of all stakeholders.

She was a staunch advocate of the industry during the CARES Act negotiations, working diligently to help preserve airline jobs – flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, gate agents and others – through the Payroll Support Program. We deeply appreciate her unwavering dedication to strengthening our nation’s transportation infrastructure. She has continuously understood the important role commercial aviation plays in driving our nation’s economy.

Her wealth of experience – throughout her distinguished career – has benefited the millions of Americans who depend on safe, affordable and accessible air travel every day.

Sec. Chao has been known for years in the nation’s capital for being a sharp-minded, talented professional and devoted public servant. She is also a trusted, loyal friend. We wish her tremendous success in her future endeavors.


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.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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