The two U.S. Senators from Indiana and the Congressman from Evansville, Indiana have written to the CEOs of American Airlines and Delta to request resumption of air service from Evansville Regional Airport to Chicago O’Hare and Detroit.
I sent a letter with @SenToddYoung and @SenatorBraun calling on @AmericanAir and @Delta to immediately resume flights from @FlyEVV to @fly2ohare and @DTWeetin and restore this critical link from Southwest Indiana to the larger tristate area and beyond. Read our letter here ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/L11C0BLVDO
— Larry Bucshon, MD (@RepLarryBucshon) May 27, 2022
United Airlines pulled out of Evansville, Indiana this year but the airport still offers service to,
- Dallas – Fort Worth (American)
- Charlotte (American)
- Atlanta (Delta)
- Orlando/Sanford and seasons Destin/Fort Walton Beach (Allegiant)
In addition Owensboro, Kentucky’s airport is 29 miles away and has service to Nashville and St. Louis on Cape Air and Orlando/Sanford on Allegiant. This is not a region desperate and lacking air service.
Senator Braun serves on the Budget and Appropriations committees. Senator Young serves on the Transportation committee. Not only are U.S. airlines among the most heavily regulated businesses in the country, their lifeblood is government subsidies. Moreover the federal government owns a stake in each airline. Formal requests like these are ignored at each airline’s peril.
However there is a shortage of pilots. Airlines weren’t recruiting new ones while carriers like American furloughed them. And the major airlines paid many to retire early.
Congress, at the behest of pilots unions and under the guise of safety after the Colgan Air accident, created significant barriers to becoming a pilot that were completely unrelated to the cause of that incident. Congress can fix this if they want air service to the smallest cities, precisely what gets cut as pilots are allocated to the most valuable trips, they should fix this.
But they won’t because ALPA has already come out to protect barriers to entry to the pilot profession, which gives them negotiating leverage and keeps their salaries up by keeping other people from becoming pilots. If Senators Braun and Young were serious about air service for rural parts of their state, they’d speak up rather than being cowed by claims revamping pilot qualification rules that no other country in the world has followed was somehow weak on safety (when it isn’t).