Delta Close to Getting Special Tax Subsidies from Georgia, Gulf Carriers Ready to Start Laughing?

Former United CEO was ousted in disgrace after it was revealed his airline agreed to bribery demands by the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He was at dinner with the authority chairman when the ask was made for a special money-losing flight to the Chairman’s vacation home in exchange for moving along items of importance to the airline at Newark airport on the board’s agenda. United operated the flight.

The flip side of what United did apparently happened down in Georgia a couple of years ago. A member of the state legislature went public with threats from Delta: members who didn’t support fuel tax subsidies for the airline could lose flights to their districts. (Delta rewards favored politicians, too.) The special tax break expired.

However Delta is now apparently making progress towards bringing back its subsidies from the state of Georgia.

Bills that would make it cheaper for Delta Air Lines to buy fuel and for big yacht owners to get repairs done in Georgia are among several tax breaks moving through the General Assembly.

…Lawmakers typically pass a dozen or so special-interest breaks every year, sometimes cutting big money from the tax bills of chosen businesses or industries, usually with the promise of creating more jobs or “leveling the playing field.” Many such bills are currently working their way through the House Ways and Means Committee or awaiting action by the full chamber. Meetings of the tax-writing committee are packed with lobbyists either hoping to get a tax break or wanting to make sure changes aren’t made in tax law that hurt their clients.

No word yet on whether Emirates, Etihad, or Qatar will seek consultations under the Open Skies treaty to complain about the unfair government support that Delta will receive.

(HT: The Winglet)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ah Delta speaks out of both sides of their mouth once again. More fodder for the GSC’s

  2. This is, of course, an effort by Delta to pay lower taxes on the fuel it buys in Georgia. I have no idea whether it’s right for Georgia to give Delta this benefit. But equating it to the billions in direct subsidies the Gulf airlines receive from their governments (they don’t even pay taxes!) is worse than Donald Trump recently equating the rule of law in the US to that of Russia (“you think we’re so innocent?”).

    Do you really want to be Pravda on this issue?

  3. I’d laugh at DL if it didn’t try to protect its business interests. No one wants to be part of a company that martyrishly declines any tax breaks. @iahphx speaks clearly, is there any company in the world similar to a gulf carrier from a perspective of govt support for a private company.

  4. Just wonder if any company left in America that can make it on its own anymore without a dependency upon government largess and corporate cronyism? Aside from the obvious Mafia-like Gulf carriers bullying their way into the marketplace by disregarding and abusing air agreements, was not Delta one of our legacy carriers that went B/k, and dumped its pensions upon the U.S. taxpayer?

    And how does Delta utilize those funds saved from fuel taxes? Is it directed towards lobbyists to attack potential high-speed rail projects it views as competitors; or, to expand its competitive position in Seattle against Alaska Air (do they receive fuel tax exemption?) Sad how such extreme crony capitalism has evolved in America that Boeing depends on the Export Import Bank in order to sell its planes to the wealthy Gulf carriers that triggers Delta’s complaints about the unfair competition.

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