President Discusses Future of Aviation in Meeting With Airline Executives

Feb 9, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In a meeting today held in the State Dining Room of the White House between President Donald Trump and executives from many of the nation’s airlines and airports, the President reiterated his desire to upgrade the nation’s air infrastructure and indicated he would like a pilot to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Our airports used to be the best. Now they’re at the bottom of the rung,” Trump told the assembled group. “And we have an obsolete plane system, we have obsolete airports, we have bad roads. We’re going to change all of that, folks.”

The group of executives represented most of the major US airlines, with the main exception being American’s CEO Doug Parker, who could not attend due to a conflict with an employee leadership conference in Dallas.

“We’re spending billions and billions of dollars, it’s a system that’s totally out of whack,” Trump told the executives, who informed the President that an upgrade of the nation’s Air Traffic Control system was one of their top priorities for what the government could do to improve air travel.

The President also said he wanted to reduce what he called “a regulatory morass that’s a disaster” and give the industry tax relief. He offered few details on his plans, though he said the White House would be announcing something “over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.”

One of the most intriguing parts of the meeting was when the President said he would prefer to have a pilot in charge of the FAA, referring several times to his own personal pilot as “a real expert” and “a smart guy who knows what’s going on.”

Another topic that was touched upon during the meeting was the ongoing concern of US airlines about competition from the three major Middle Eastern carriers — Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar — known informally as the ME3. While the President told the executives that he would help them compete with airlines that receive foreign subsidies, he also wants foreign airlines to invest in the United States.

The US carriers have engaged in an escalating war of words with the ME3, claiming the foreign airlines are able to compete unfairly thanks to assistance from their home governments. Last month the major US legacy carriers objected to Emirates’ newly announced fifth-freedom route between Newark (EWR) and Athens (ATH) and called for a government investigation.

However, when it comes to increased competition in the nation’s air markets, the White House has previously indicated it may not have much interest in the complaints of US airlines. Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated the White House would not be opposed to Norwegian’s efforts to expand flights into the United States. “There is a huge economic interest that America has in that deal right now,” Spicer said.

Featured image courtesy of Wally McNamee/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.