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Letter: Airline subsidy

Published: Sunday, Aug. 17 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, Aug. 16 2014 8:03 p.m. MDT

There have been many claims that U.S. workers will suffer if the U.S. Export-Import Bank is not reauthorized by Congress. There are thousands of U.S. workers who are suffering right now because of Ex-Im Bank, in particular those whose jobs depend on the U.S. airline industry.

More than 80,000 of those jobs are with my employer, Delta Air Lines. At Delta, we compete with airlines from around the world, including foreign airlines that receive a subsidy from U.S. taxpayers because of the Ex-Im Bank. This subsidy provides those airlines with cheap financing to buy brand new wide-body airplanes.

For example, the Ex-Im financing for one airline was nearly 3 percent lower than the market rate. That’s a subsidy of $20 million per airplane. Those subsidized planes are then used on international routes directly against U.S. airlines that purchase their planes at market rates.

Delta as well as ALPA, the union for the airline pilots, have been pushing for reforms to the Ex-Im Bank. Those reforms would help safeguard the thousands of employees in the U.S. airline industry both in Utah and across the nation.

Eric Schoenbaum

Salt Lake City

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