Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, was grilled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week. Many topics were raised, but the one that raised my eyebrows was Air Italy.
A group of U.S. Senators—a motley bipartisan crew—are “very concerned” about the risk Air Italy poses to U.S. jobs. Never mind that Air Italy buys Boeing aircraft, employees U.S. workers, and serves U.S. destinations that no other carriers serve. Don’t let facts get in the way…
They say the Qatar Airways is “flouting” the agreement reached between U.S. carriers and Gulf Carriers last year both sides declared victory over.
Small problem, for the U.S. Senators. They apparently never read the actual agreement, just the talking points from U.S. airline-funded lobbyist groups like Airlines For America.
Because in the actual agreement, the Gulf Carriers only said they did not plan to introduce any more Fifth Freedom flights to the United States. In Air Italy, Senators see a wolf in sheep’s clothing…even as they act more like boys who cried wolf when it comes to gauging the pros versus cons of Air Italy serving five U.S. destinations.
We’re looking very closely at this recent decision by Qatar to take on 49 percent of this airline…There are lots of consultations taking place.
If you want an example of what is so wrong in this debate, let’s listen in on Scott Reed, who serves as a campaign manager for Open & Fair Skies, another airline-funded trade group.
The future of this industry – and the jobs it supports – depend on the Trump administration holding Qatar accountable for its trade-cheating actions…
There is bipartisan concern that Qatar Airways is violating last year’s agreement with the United States – making its finances more opaque instead of less and using Air Italy as a proxy to undermine the U.S. airline industry.
So let me get this straight, the future of the U.S. airline industry depends upon one fledgling Italian airline that serves five destinations in the USA?
And they wonder why anyone who has studied the issue does not take them seriously…
My previous thought on Senators involving themselves in this matter remains unchanged. But I’m rolling my eyes that they simply do not get it. When will an elected member of Congress be courageous enough to turn down campaign contributions in order to expose this fraud?
When will the emperor airlines understand they are not wearing any clothes?