WASHINGTON, DC – US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on a Reuters story on the Justice Department’s apparent opposition to the US legacy airlines’ request to limit flights from some Middle Eastern carriers:
“We’re encouraged by reports that the Justice Department shares the travel community’s concern that reducing airline competition is detrimental to travel and travelers. It’s a relief to hear that there are voices within the federal government speaking against the Big 3 airlines’ scheme to freeze their competitors’ air service, which we continue to believe would be a clear violation of Open Skies agreements that would inflict grave harm upon our country’s economy and international relationships.
“The Reuters report further affirms our presumption that ‘a list of policy options and their consequences is being prepared’ for senior administration officials—and we hope that the consequences of any service freeze are clear enough that that move is not even under consideration.
“Consumers and policymakers should want all airlines to be profitable, but the strategy for ensuring that should be to grow the pie rather than hoard pieces of it. For airlines to win the public’s trust back, the era of sharp elbows must be over and so must their war on competition.
“U.S. Travel will continue to make the case for policies that are pro-competition, pro-growth and pro-traveler, which ought to include a clear rejection by the Obama Administration of the Big 3’s attempted takedown of Open Skies.”