WASHINGTON, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Capt. Paul Jackson, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, released the following statement applauding the bipartisan group of Congressional members who sent a letter urging the U.S. government to open consultations with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. A recent investigation revealed the governments have been providing massive subsidies to their state-owned airlines. The letter, signed by 262 lawmakers, cites concerns of U.S. job loss as a result of an unfair competition in the aviation market.
"It's phenomenal to have such a large amount of bipartisan support as we work toward increased State and DOT consultations with the governments of Qatar and the UAE," said Capt. Jackson. "The subsidies provided to their State-sponsored airlines do not create an open and fair competition. The 8,000 pilots of Southwest Airlines believe it is imperative that our company compete on a level playing field."
Background on Partnership for Open & Fair Skies
The Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association is a member of the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, a coalition that includes American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, along with the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Communications Workers of America, the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Transportation Workers Union of America. The Partnership presented a white paper, Restoring Open Skies: The Need to Address Subsidized Competition from State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, to the U.S. government earlier this year. The Partnership is calling on the Obama Administration to open consultations under the Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to address the flow of subsidized capacity to the U.S., and to seek a freeze on new passenger service during the consultations.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association