U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s rejection of demands by the Big Three U.S. airlines to freeze all new flights to the U.S. by airlines flagged in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates:
“Anyone who supports U.S. jobs and a strong U.S. economy should be very pleased by the administration’s decision to preserve existing Open Skies agreements.
“The Big Three U.S. airlines’ core demand—that the administration freeze flights by airlines flagged in Qatar and the UAE, and renegotiate U.S. Open Skies agreements with those countries—was, thankfully, set aside because their arguments fell well short of the mark. They did not prove a violation of Open Skies agreements by Gulf carriers and did not prove any economic harm from the status quo. The only thing that’s been proven is that other sectors would be harmed by the action they were requesting.
“These realities will continue through the government-to-government talks. We will remain vigilant, the facts are on our side, and we look forward to the day when this Open Skies debate is behind us.
“To be clear, we strongly support our U.S. legacy carriers being healthy, vibrant, profitable and growing. That said, we strongly oppose any efforts to reduce secure travel, connectivity, growth and consumer choice that would harm our nation’s economy, businesses and employment.
“Our hope is that everyone with a stake in air travel can move on to the common objective of growing travel overall, which would benefit practically everyone in this country.”