United Airlines Employees Rally to Protect U.S. Aviation Jobs
United employees join forces with unions, elected officials to highlight unfair competition by massively subsidized Gulf carriers
NEWARK, N.J., March 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today, United Airlines employees, union representatives and members of Congress rallied at Newark Liberty International Airport to support U.S. aviation jobs in the face of Emirates Airline’s new daily service between Newark and Athens, Greece – the latest example of massive Gulf subsidies undermining the domestic airline industry. Subsidy-enabled flights supported by the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar violate international aviation agreements, distort the market and undermine competition, threatening hundreds of thousands of U.S. aviation workers in the process.
Since 2004, the governments of the UAE and Qatar have provided over $50 billion of unfair subsidies to grow their flag carriers – Emirates Airline, Ethiad Airways and Qatar Airways – forcing U.S. carriers to cancel long-haul international service. Emirates Airline’s new daily flight from Newark to Athens is the latest example of how these massive government subsidies are undermining the U.S domestic airline industry. United offers flights from Newark to Athens only during the summer because the market demand does not support year-round service.
“Each time a U.S. carrier is forced to cut one of these long-haul international routes, American jobs are at risk,” said Rick Hoefling, vice president of United’s Newark hub. “That translates into fewer jobs for pilots, ground crew, flight attendants and all of those who make our domestic aviation sector one of the best around the world. We look to the new administration to enforce our international aviation agreements and stand up for all U.S. aviation workers.”
At Newark Liberty today, Hoelfing was joined by uniformed United employees; U.S. Representatives Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5); Ken Diaz, president of United’s Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight Attendants; and United Captain Glenn Johnson, Council 5 chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association to stand up for airline employees in the New Jersey/New York area against the subsidy-fueled expansion by the Gulf carriers.
More information on United’s efforts to ensure legitimate and healthy competition among domestic and international carriers can be found at openandfairskies.com/united.
United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2016, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 143 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 737 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express partners operate 483 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “UAL”.