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Delta Air Lines

Delta CEO Hopes Trump Presidency Will Do More for U.S. Carriers and Infrastructure

Delta CEO Hopes Trump Presidency Will Do More for U.S. Carriers and Infrastructure
Jackie Reddy

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]

View Comments (8)


  1. Sabai

    January 16, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Golly, he’s as protectionist as Bubba Anderson. Evil, evil ME-3 are giving Delta a sad.

  2. bigbuy

    January 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I wonder if he will offer to pay back the taxpayers for those reinforced cockpit doors and the hundreds of millions of dollars Delta got after 9/11. Guaranteed the answer is no. I am willing to bet $1000 to anyone who says otherwise.

  3. lamphs

    January 16, 2017 at 9:29 am

    What is it that the US carriers do not get? I am pro-US, but the quality of customer service and amenities offered by the Asian and ME carriers are far better than the US carriers at a competitive price. This was proven to me yet again on a intl. AA F (3-class) flight in October. Relatively poor food and rude FAs. Improve the service and the US carriers will do well.

  4. KRSW

    January 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Before the US3 start complaining about the ME3 receiving subsidies, they should hand back the tax credits/rebates they’ve been receiving. Those most certainly are subsidies as well.

    /have a lot of friends who work for the US airlines, BUT I still welcome the ME3. Fear can be a great motivator for change.

  5. edgewood49

    January 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    DL will do anything not to have to earn business the old fashion way. While he is talking to the new President he should be reminded of where he buys his metal. I think EK outspends DL on Boeing. I will remind my senator of that who by the by is in the State of Washington.

  6. kulflyer

    January 17, 2017 at 11:47 am

    What a load of bull. They get tons of subsidies from US tax payers. Remove government requirement that employees to fly US3.

  7. cynosura

    January 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I am sure if you give Delta some corporate welfare and stamp out Delta’s competition he’ll be happy. Greed loves greed so he and Trump should get along famously. Don’t expect him to give any off the additional profits to the workers though–that would be shared only with the C-suite management.

  8. Bretteee

    January 18, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    US airlines suck and don’t deserve to be protected.

    DELTA and all the others treat economy class passengers like cargo. Lousy legroom, old 2nd hand aircraft acquired from China (DELTA); lousy cafeteria food, low luggage allowance, often times uncaring crews.

    I avoid them like the plague and cringe if I need to fly with them long haul overseas.

    Until they offer similar service as Asian / Gulf airlines they don’t deserve any protection.

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