Congress, Delta take steps to end Gulf carrier subsidies

The members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging them to enforce Open Skies agreements.

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Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways have funneled more than $50 billion of their own governments’ subsidies into their airlines and have expanded services into the United States. This expansion has pushed U.S. airlines out of several international markets. No American airlines fly to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Qatar.

More than 300 Congressional members have urged Trump Administration to address this issue.

Delta Airlines employees have begun emailing and tweeting their members of Congress and the White House on this issue. The airline’s campaign began in March and, so far, 30,000 employees have participated.

Other Delta employees have flown to Washington D.C. to speak to government officials, and in July, Delta released a documentary on the unfairness of the government subsidies.

“We must enforce our Open Skies agreements with the UAE and Qatar and put a stop to the billions of dollars they receive in massive government subsidies,” Peter Carter, Delta’s executive vice president and chief legal officer, said.

In late October, American Airlines called the subsidies a threat to U.S. jobs and airlines’ long-term strategy.