The carrier anticipates that the new administration will do more to enrich and protect legacy carriers from unfair competition.
Delta Air Lines is hopeful that the incoming Trump administration will increase investment in the nation’s airports and do more to protect America’s carriers against competition from heavily subsidized Gulf carriers.
So far, Trump has proposed a total of $1 trillion in improvements across the country’s transportation sector over the next 10 years. The finer details, including the financing and allocating of these monies, haven’t yet been finalized. However, Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick to head up the U.S. Department of Transportation, has said that she is willing to consider all options.
Speaking to analysts during a quarterly earnings call, Delta CEO Ed Bastian was quoted by USA Today as saying that, “There’s a number of things we’re excited about.” Indeed, federal support would help to buttress Delta’s own efforts to shore up its infrastructure. The carrier has been working with partners to improve facilities at Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and New York’s LaGuardia airport.
Bastian said that the federal proposal is “a big deal”.
He also confirmed that airline officials have already been in talks with the administration’s transition team to discuss claims that the likes of Etihad, Qatar, and Emirates airlines receive government subsidies to unfairly compete against American carriers.
Speaking of these allegations, Bastian said flatly, “We are competing against governments, not airlines.”
Back at the beginning of 2015, Delta, American, and United implored the federal government to block more flights from these Gulf airlines, all of which have denied receiving subsidies.
Bastian has confirmed that his dialogue with the government will continue over the coming months. He hopes that the talks will protect American jobs and will secure “trade deals that are being violated.”
[Photo: Delta Air Lines]