Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
The three major US airlines have received almost $71.5 billion in government subsidies since 1999, a new study claims.
Research by the independent Risk Advisory Group found that the vast majority of the $71.48 billion granted to American Airlines, United and Delta has been paid since 2000.
The study was commissioned by Etihad, which, together with Qatar Airways and Emirates, faces opposition to expansion plans in the US by the three US carriers. The Gulf airlines claim that their US rivals were granted billions in state aid after the September 11 attacks and that this counters any argument that they have about the Middle East airlines being state sponsored and receiving beneficial fuel rates.
All three US airlines were allowed to reorganise under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after 9/11. Among the claims made are that United benefited from bankruptcy debt relief totalling $26 billion and Delta $4.6 billion, while American received government guarantees worth $6 billion. In all, Risk Advisory estimates that United benefited by $44.4 billion, Delta by $15 billion and American by $12 billion.
The study also points that US carriers benefit from a lower rate of federal jet fuel tax – 4.4 cents per gallon instead of 21.9 cents for non-commercial carriers.
Other claims include:
The report also points out that the US bars foreign airlines from its domestic market and stipulates that government-paid air travel must be on US carriers.
The OpenSkies.travel campaign is calling on the US government not to concur with demands from the three airlines to halt expansion by their Gulf rivals.
“This report confirms that the United States has found numerous ways to financially help its airline industry become established and profoundly advantage it in ways to enable the most powerful and profitable airlines in the world,” said OpenSkies.travel founder Kevin Mitchell.
Freezing Gulf carrier access to U.S. markets would be the “Mother of all Subsidies” and land American consumers with vastly higher fares and much diminished travel options, he added.