3 Links I Love: Georgia Punishes Delta, Boeing Goes Regional, Why Boston is Better than New York

This week’s featured link:
Pro-gun Georgia lawmakers punish Delta for crossing the NRAAssociated Press
I’ll admit that the Georgia government threats of retaliation for Delta pulling a discount program for National Rifle Association (NRA) members didn’t surprise me. But moving beyond talk and actually taking action because of it? Well that’s just ridiculous. If I lived in Georgia, I’d be pretty embarrassed about how I’m being represented. Even if I backed the NRA, I still would hope that the removal of a discount for a private group wouldn’t result in retaliation from those in public office. That’s a very hostile climate for a business to be in. If I were looking to relocate a business, this would be a real concern… unless I was looking to relocate FROM Georgia.

Two for the road:
Boeing to have 51 percent stake in venture with Embraer: paperReuters
Anything Airbus can do, I can do better? Airbus bought a majority stake in the C-Series aircraft, and now Boeing wants to do the same with the Embraer commercial aircraft line. I just keep shaking my head and how Boeing has handled itself in the regional space, but, well, it’s never a dull moment.

How Boston’s Airport Bounced Back From the Storm That Crippled J.F.K.The New York Times
File this one under the long-running saga “Boston rules, New York drools.” You undoubtedly remember the mess that was JFK after that big storm earlier this winter. Here’s how Boston handled things better. To be fair, JFK has a lot more international airlines with a lot more flights to coordinate, but there’s no question that JFK is a mess that needs help.

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Gary Leff
Guest

The Georgia – Delta spat is first and foremost about the state’s Republican and secondarily about raising money from out of state donors.

That said there’s no fundamental right to the fuel tax subsidies Delta has been lobbying for (which expired in 2015). And the issue is just another reminder of Delta’s position of “subsidies for me but not for thee.”

Outer+Space+Guy
Guest
Outer+Space+Guy

> If I were looking to relocate a business, this would be a real concern…

I read that as a reference to amazon’s forthcoming HQ2…

Bill from DC
Guest
Bill from DC

Amazon would be foolish to not notice how a major company in Georgia was significantly negatively impacted simply by making a philosophical decision that the majority of Georgia’s politicians disagreed with. Sounds like a pretty unstable and unwelcome political environment for anybody excepting the far right. Amazon and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos are certainly not included in that group. It would be hilarious if Georgia lost Amazon HQ2 in part because they decided to spite one of the state’s largest employers for simply doing something that their NRA bought-and-paid-for State legislators (and self appointed arbiters of morality) disagreed with.… Read more »

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

CF nailed it. “Even if I backed the NRA, I still would hope that the removal of a discount for a private group wouldn’t result in retaliation from those in public office. That’s a very hostile climate for a business to be in. If I were looking to relocate a business, this would be a real concern… unless I was looking to relocate FROM Georgia.” The issue is that the Lt. Gov. linked Delta’s decision to remove the NRA discount – which dozens of other companies have also done – with tax legislation. The governor and Atlanta major both said… Read more »

Nick
Guest
Nick

Why every time there is a tax break or anything DL is working with the government on, is it tied back to the ME3? The “subsidies” are no where even close to the same scale. If my folks give me $300 but buy my sister a $300K house, we are both being subsidized by our parents, but I think it would be hard to argue that they are the same thing if you look even a tiny bit into it. But to keep it on topic, it’s a shame the state is punishing a private business in such a way.… Read more »

DOOOOOOD
Guest
DOOOOOOD

Fuel subsidies aren’t really free market either…

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

Georgia taxes jet fuel; other states do not. If anything, the fuel tax exemption would have helped create a level jet fuel cost playing field between Georgia and other states. When you operate the world’s largest hub in a state with a fuel tax that others don’t have, you start looking at alternative airports to connect the 60% of Delta passengers that are just changing planes in ATL. WN also connects passengers in Atlanta and all Georgia airline passengers will pay for the cost of higher jet fuel.

McBox
Member

Actually, many states do charge an excise tax or sales tax on jet fuel with the exception of a very few states like Texas. Some of these states have a rebate or cap on the tax which normally benefits the big (ie hub) carriers.

Doug Swalen
Guest
Doug Swalen

Politicians love to talk principles…less government intrusion…blah blah blah…until one of their pet causes is messed with. Then principles go right out the window.

Don
Guest
Don

What concerns me the most about this is the Georgia legislature taking action against a George-based company in defense of a lobbying group.

grover jones
Member
grover jones

Delta should consider moving its hub, many cities would be happy to give billions to have it and some have the facilities already in place

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Might be cheaper to fund the political campaigns of “better” politicians.

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

Delta isn’t going to move the world’s largest passenger airline hub. Even though some states would love to see Delta move its headquarters, it can’t do that because it has a lease that goes for the next couple of decades. Delta can grow elsewhere including at either of two airports up I-75 that have large facilities which are, to many people more attractive and comfortable than ATL. CVG and DTW both know how to keep the lights on and the roads and taxiways plowed, something Georgia struggles to do. OTOH, most every other airline hub including Delta’s other hubs do… Read more »

JB
Member
JB

Or MSP, Delta’s second largest hub, and former HQ of Northwest.

Southeastern
Guest
Southeastern

How many large scale production facilities does Boeing have in Chicago to justify its decision to move HQ out of Seattle? Delta can move their HQ anywhere in the U.S. to take advantage of subsidies and tax breaks without removing a single flight from their ATL hub.

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

IIRC, Delta’s lease with the City of Atlanta requires that its headquarters stay in Atlanta.

Jim
Guest
Jim

They may not move the hub entirely, but they can start redirecting growth elsewhere and slowly draw down flights. Even if they cut the hub by 25% it would hurt Georgia a lot.

lrosenberg
Member
lrosenberg

Totally agree that Delta should consider moving their Hub, it’s time people stop fearing the NRA

neavillek
Member
neavillek

RE: Georgia Punishes Delta. It is true that Georgia is not business friendly in this circumstance but for a different reason. ATL dominates travel plans out of Georgia. Likewise, Delta dominates ATL. Why should Georgia give Delta tax breaks on fuel there? That long standing practice puts competing airlines at a disadvantage and raises airfare prices for all consumers. Government needs to stay out of business and businesses need to stay out of politics!

Bill from DC
Guest
Bill from DC

You could argue that Delta no longer giving discounts to NRA members is a great example of businesses staying out of politics.

Nathaniel
Member
Nathaniel

But is it staying out of politics though? From the sounds of it it was just standard group rate pricing to get to their convention. This wasn’t Delta endorsing the NRA or giving it any special treatment it wouldn’t give to a similar sized group. (Heck Delta even did a deal with Dragoncon a few years ago!) My question is what about other orginizations like AARP, PETA, NAACP, AAA, ACLU, etc.. Do they have similar agreements with those orginizations and did they toss those as well? Then you can make a case of staying out of politics.

Bill from DC
Guest
Bill from DC

Very good point. I don’t know the answer to that.

Jim
Guest
Jim

AARP, PETA, NAACP, AAA, ACLU, etc. are all non-controversial organizations. No one is going to disagree with what AARP does, and there is no organization called The Association Against the Rights of Retired Persons. While the organizations you listed might have political activities, they are generally non-political groups and most Americans support (or do not actively oppose) their aims.

Nathaniel
Member
Nathaniel

You’re kidding right? PETA is hugely controversial, so is the NAACP and ACLU. AARP has it’s own set of controversial stands and is the 8th largest lobbying group in DC, with over a quarter billion in spending, over the last 20 or so years. It dwarfs the NRA and has it hands in just about every piece of legislation. It just has better PR people. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=sindexType=s

Andy
Member
Andy

Competing airlines would get the tax break as well. If anything it makes it easier for ALL carriers to justify expanding services at ATL by reducing their costs.

McBox
Member

But the gallons required to achieve the subsidy are beyond the capability of all carriers but DL; AirTran used to benefit but as SWA reduced service that wouldn’t apply.

Andy
Member
Andy

Perhaps I missed something; did the proposed law require a minimum fuel purchase required to waive the tax?

David SF eastbay
Member

I see the White House isn’t the only place that has spoiled bratty children running things, the state of Georgia has them also.

Dave at GSP
Guest
Dave at GSP

As does California, San Francisco, and pretty much every other state and local government in the US.

Jim
Guest
Jim

I can’t think of a case where the California government has done anything this petty. Please cite an example.

A
Guest

The Delta fuel subsidy is no doubt politics but I wouldn’t say overly hostile to the business climate of Georgia. They pulled a tax subsidy which Delta only received due to the weight they carry in that sate. There are much worse things state legislatures can do to their local business climate – looking at you California. I’m sure the NRA discounts amounted to hardly anything in the Delta bottom line. Delta surely wanted to win public opinion points by punishing an easy scapegoat. I say shame on Delta for trying to exploit a tragedy. I take a contrarian view… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

“Exploit a tragedy”. Oh, you’re going there again. We can’t pressure the government to take action to stop these massacres, because that would be “exploiting” a tragedy. But the gun lobby using the tragedy to sell more guns is perfectly fine, huh?

Realist
Guest

Haha, a guy from CA is disparaging how another State runs it’s government…that’s rich! By the way, how many thousands of businesses have moved from CA to GA in the past decade?

Bill from DC
Guest
Bill from DC

CF is neither a politician nor a spokesperson for the state of California and shouldn’t be considered as such. His opinion of Georgia’s actions are no less noteworthy because of where he happens to live.

Jim
Guest
Jim

California’s economy has grown faster than Georgia’s over the past decade. Get your facts straight before you talk.

Doug Swalen
Guest
Doug Swalen

Dang…the year is barely into its third month and already most of my predictions for 2017 are on the ash heap…IF the Brazil report is true and not just wishful thinking.

Doug Swalen
Guest
Doug Swalen

Delta is really in a bad position here. What are they going to do? Pull up stakes from Hartsfield-Jackson? HA! Delta is tied to that super hub like United is tied to Houston and American to New York (Delta too). It can’t cut back. It can’t shift flights to other hubs. It’s bound to Georgia. It can’t afford to get political…even if it’s trying to position this as being apolitical (which nobody believes). It is interesting however that the Texas legislature has not retaliated against United the way the Georgia legislature retaliated against Delta.

A
Guest
A

UA is Chicago based. AA and WN are in Texas.

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

Texas doesn’t tax jet fuel

Jim
Guest
Jim

Of course Delta can cut back. They have plenty of other hubs. They could move a chunk of the international flying to JFK, and route some of the domestic traffic over CVG, DTW, MSP, and SLC instead.

flyplayne
Member
flyplayne

What would be the reply if Delta stopped giving discounts to, say the ASTA ?

Eric A.
Member
Eric A.

I was born in Atlanta to a corporate family who moved allot and returned to ATL for undergrad and my 20s. This spat is political theater and rooted in the Tale of Two Georgias; economically there is the ATL area and everywhere else. Many political people ‘out in the state’ love sticking it to the A and don’t consider the metro as ‘real Georgia’. My theory is that this is Lt.Gov. Cagle pandering to his small city & rural constituents.

haolenate
Guest

Maybe this is a wake up call to ALL companies to stop giving donations or discounts to *any* group with political affiliations or leanings, and I am including those on the left AND right.

This is one example why many of the core airlines I work with donate to the American Cancer Society as our main charity because they tend to be very ‘apolitcal’.

hk
Guest
hk

Free PR ended up cost more. DL was busy today defensing its position (DL was just to be neutral; respects 2nd amendment; only 13 discounts ever). The bill was already passed house before the free PR, leaving only senate vote. Not only republicans, many democratic GA house & senate were also in favor for removing the credit. Guess there was a good level of agreement. Might not be even related to this dispute.

Tim Dunn
Member
Tim Dunn

Delta has said they will pull discounts for all groups that engage in politically divisive activities, demonstrating that Delta doesn’t want to be in the middle of these political battles. The sad reality is that many people will lose discounts because of the Delta-NRA-Georgia dustup but many companies don’t want to be caught in the middle of all of this. There are also marketing analytic surveys taken in the last week that show that Delta as well as other brands that cut discounts from the NRA actually are scoring higher on brand reputation. Finally, the Georgia governor, who is in… Read more »

Bill Hough
Guest
Bill Hough

I say screw DL. They lost my sympathy when they started whining about the “ME3” while degrading their product. l agree with this article on the subject:

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/03/delta_discovers_the_perils_of_pc.html

Pedro
Member
Pedro

Delta flies 100 million passengers a year. NRA has maybe 5 million members. This dust up won’t hurt Delta

Chris
Guest
Chris

If delta had taken an NRA safety course maybe they wouldn’t have shot themselves in the foot

RNB
Guest
RNB

Everyone in the news media acts as if this blew up out of nowhere (and Delta management is pushing the same line): Poor, naïve Delta — trying to be ‘neutral’ after the Florida school shootings — ‘ended its relationship’ (such as it was) with the NRA and the Republicans in the state legislature ‘punished’ them, without provocation. A little memory paints a somewhat different picture: It is not two years since Delta and a number of other large, national corporations (Especially movie production companies. Georgia grants movie productions generous tax credits.) threatened the state with economic retaliation if it passed… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

That Was beautifully put