Airline taxes are "crushing and burdensome," CEO says

06/5/2013 | Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

In a speech at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Smisek, the president and CEO of United Continental Holdings, said federal regulations are "crushing and burdensome." He also called for the air-traffic control system to be updated, and for the government to lower airline taxes, which now make up 20% of fares. "You've actually got better technology in your Hondas than our government uses," he said. Smisek also thanked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for contacting the Obama administration on behalf of United regarding Federal Aviation Administration controller furloughs due to sequestration. "We asked the mayor if he could help us, and he did," he said.

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