WASHINGTON, DC – US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on new United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz’s campaign to repair relations with stakeholders:
“The travel community welcomes this message from Mr. Munoz, and I personally look forward to working with him any way I can. U.S. Travel’s mission is very simple – to increase travel to and within the United States – and he is sending some very encouraging signals that he understands that means making travel a fundamentally traveler-focused enterprise.
“On the travel policy front, I hope this means that the era of sharp elbows is over. We have lately criticized the U.S. legacy carriers, United included, for pursuing a Washington agenda that is too focused on stifling competition and not focused on growing the pie by getting more people to travel. Mr. Munoz’s words give us hope that we can work together to form a new paradigm in industry partnership.
“A clear sign of United’s commitment to travelers would be for United to step out of the coalition that is working to freeze certain Open Skies aviation agreements the U.S. holds with other countries – what we deem to be perhaps the most glaring example of how the legacy carriers have misprioritized their policy goals. There is absolutely no question that Open Skies has added choice and value for travelers, but nowhere have the fortunes of the traveler been reflected in the legacy carriers’ assault on the agreements. Mr. Munoz can quickly add substance to his message by ceasing United’s participation in the anti-Open Skies campaign; this will ensure that his introduction will be more than a typical corporate PR effort.”