Why Do They Need To Be Protected?
Despite the multitude of tangible benefits Open Skies bring to America, the legacy carriers – American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines – would like to get rid of certain agreements to protect their market share. Specifically, they are targeting U.S. Open Skies agreements with two Gulf states, the UAE and Qatar. This is extremely worrisome as any agreement lost would likely increase prices for consumers, limit flight options, and ultimately hurt the American economy.
Many U.S. airlines do not support the legacy carriers’ demands. USAOS member companies, as well as other U.S. passenger and cargo carriers not aligned with the legacy carriers, collectively employ nearly 3.5 times the number of workers employed by the legacy carriers. In addition, Gulf carriers and other foreign airlines not aligned with the legacy carriers bring thousands of passengers to the United States, creating demand for connecting flights on smaller U.S. airlines. These additional passengers enable smaller airlines to expand their domestic services, creating more competition, lowering prices for consumers, and supporting job growth.