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U.S. Travel: Airlines’ Own Data Argues Against Open Skies Tampering

May 20, 2015 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for Public Affairs Jonathan Grella issued the following statement Friday following developments on the Open Skies issue:

“Any debate benefits from more information, and the information emanating from both sides of the Open Skies issue leads to no other conclusion than that those agreements should and must be left intact. Government-imposed ‘freezing’ of any service, as the U.S. Big Three have requested, would constitute a shattering of Open Skies agreements from which there is no going back.

“More data continues to surface confirming what we believed early on: that the U.S. Big Three’s complaints about being net-losers in the subsidy game are suspect in the extreme. Their definition of subsidies for themselves is narrow, while their definition for their opponents is broad and imaginative.

“Meanwhile, the Big Three themselves have put out a report confirming something else we have been sadly forced to believe: that they are afraid of competition, and their solution—note the irony here—is to beseech their government to intervene. Their argument about losing market share is rendered even weaker by the fact that the inbound U.S. travel market is growing by an average of six percent annually, reaching a record 75 million international travelers last year.

“For our part, the American travel community will continue to urge policymakers to view this issue through what we strongly believe to be the most appropriate lens: competition in the passenger aviation space, and the well-being of both travelers and the overall U.S. economy.”

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