Jeff Smisek is the CEO of United Airlines. His CEO Letter in the November issue of Hemispheres Magazine was titled, “Aviation Tax Reform,” which caught my eye.
“The taxation system across transportation modes is broken, and airlines and our customers are paying the price for this irrational structure,” laments Mr. Smisek. The government imposes “17 different taxes and fees” on his customers and his airline.
The CEO of one of the nation’s preeminent carriers is calling for a simplified tax structure for the airline industry. You have my support Mr. Smisek.
However, he also mentioned he is “proud to provide safe and reliable air transportation to more than 360 airports across six continents around the globe.”
Wow — 360 airports on six continents. That represents about 7% of the publicly available airports in the U.S.
Being a global airline, United Airlines competes with carriers, “many of which benefit from a supportive tax and regulatory climate in their respective countries.” So this is about competition and fairness.
Mr. Smisek, if a simplified tax structure is good for United Airlines, then it is good for American Airlines, and Gulfstream, and Cirrus, and Aviat and, more importantly, the owners and operators of those aircraft.
Part 121, Part 135 and Part 91 operators are far more similar than dissimilar. How’s about if WE work together to the benefit of us all?
NATIONAL AIRLINE POLICY
Elsewhere in the magazine was a full page ad touting NationalAirlinePolicy.com. On the website was a 2-minute video promoting just such a policy. It complains about high taxes, growing fuel prices, burdensome regulations and outdated ATC. Pretty sure I’ve heard these complaints before.
Further proof we should all just work together to mutual gain.
As an aside, I wonder if the federal government rolled out “17 different taxes and fees” all at once, or if they layered them on one at a time? Hmmm.