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.
> Read More: As Air Italy Looks To California, Congress Looks To Block
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?
So the senators are idiots. I get it. But why they were chosen in the first place?
Are americans idiots?
Not sure how anyone will be able to disagree with Debit’s eventual comments on the matter.
Though “looking very closely” usually means “onto the next question” and in reality nothing is being done.
I hope so!
Ain’t that the truth!
This is the same group making similar arguments regarding Norwegian Air – that it will hurt US jobs. Norwegian Air has been flying from Oakland, CA for some time now. It’s probably good for all the airlines. Many people don’t want the product offerings of an Air Italy or a Norwegian, but the competition helps to make the legacy airlines better.
Funny that Qatar/Air Italy is a problem, but not Alitalia, which is basically an extension of the Italian state rail company at this point.
Because of how politics work in the US, senators and members of congress have to prostitute themselves to the industry in order to get funded. And you guys even call it democracy. I do not think the founding fathers had this mess in mind. It is utterly shameful.
Very well reasoned.