Airlines for America supports an amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to help federal agencies minimize the effect of sequestration on air travel by deciding which employees are essential. "A4A expects and urges federal agencies, including CBP, TSA and the FAA to minimize sequestration's impact on airlines and our customers, and we strongly support Sen. Blunt's amendment, which provides additional flexibility for federal officials to effectively manage and maintain essential public services while meeting the requirements of the sequester," said Nicholas Calio, A4A's president and CEO.
Airlines for America has lauded President Barack Obama for signing a bill that would allow the secretary of transportation to ban U.S. airlines from complying with the European Union's emissions-trading scheme. "With the president's signature today, the United States has sent an unequivocal signal to the EU and the world that while the illegal and unilaterally imposed EU ETS is the wrong way to proceed, there is a steadfast commitment to the right way -- a global sectoral approach at the international level," said Nicholas Calio, A4A president and CEO. The global aviation industry continues to look to the International Civil Aviation Organization to lead the movement toward environmentally responsible operations.
Airlines are expecting planes to be fuller during the Thanksgiving holidays -- 150,000 more than in the previous year. Airlines for America's chief economist says that in the third quarter airlines saw a 5.6% increase in revenue -- but 10 of the largest U.S. airlines experienced 6.2% higher costs, reducing the profit margin to about 50 cents per passenger.
A White House proposal to speed the visa process for tourists drew praise from the airline industry, "There is clearly pent-up demand for increased U.S. visitation. If U.S. airlines are able to operate in an environment that is conducive to international expansion, the carriers will be able to add service, jobs and further drive overall economic growth of the country." However, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the proposal contradicts laws put in place after the 9/11 terror attacks. "Once again, this administration is pushing the envelope and using their authority beyond congressional intent, allowing untold numbers of foreign nationals to bypass the in-person interview requirement, and risking national security in the process," he said.
Airlines for America (A4A) commend Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., for introducing a bill that would prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) because, opponents say, the scheme violates international law and U.S. sovereignty. The legislation would also seek to hold operators harmless from the scheme. Read more here.