Delta rejoins Airlines for America trade group

Dec 18, 2019

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The cooling off period is over.

After a little more than four years, Delta Air Lines is rejoining Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade group that represents most of the largest airlines in North America.

Now, Delta said, it’s ready to re-affiliate with the organization and looks forward to collaborating with its other members to address issues that affect the industry.

“We are committed to the future of commercial aviation, and will work together with A4A to support priorities like promoting sustainability initiatives, fighting unnecessary passenger taxes and advocating for policies that enhance the travel experience,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, said in a statement.

In 2015, Delta withdrew from A4A, saying it opposed many of the group’s official positions. The organization supported privatizing U.S. air traffic control and Delta accused it of not opposing strongly enough government subsidies to the so-called Middle East Big Three — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. U.S. airlines have long accused the three of receiving unfair support that hurts competition.

“The $5 million that Delta pays in annual dues to A4A can be better used to invest in employees and products to further enhance the Delta experience, and to support what we believe is a more efficient way of communicating in Washington on issues that are important to Delta customers and employees,” Delta said in a statement when it announced it was quitting the group.

For its part, A4A seems to hold no grudges.

“We are a stronger association with Delta as a member.” Nicholas E. Calio, A4A’s president and CEO said in a statement. “We are more effective advocates for the traveling and shipping public when we speak with a unified industry voice.”

Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy.

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