Oscar Munoz, like Jeff Smisek before him, let the CEOs of Delta and United stick their foots in their mouths while not directly leading the charge for government protectionism against Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar.
Munoz has now changed that declaring, “Those airlines aren’t airlines.”
Chutzpah: These comments come the very same week that the federal government recommended prison time for the official who took a bribe from United in exchange for government favors at its Newark hub.
Munoz believes there will be a consumer uproar, demanding fewer flights and higher prices, “when the full scope of the issue becomes widely known” and “US jobs are potentially lost.” (And in a comment sure to enrage pilots unions, both Munoz and American Airlines CEO Doug Parker say they’re happy to compete with ‘tricky’ Norwegian just not with Middle Easterners.)
Memo to Munoz: airline jobs are at an all-time high, the economy benefits from Open Skies (just as Fedex with a Gulf hub, and Alaska and JetBlue which codeshare with Emirates, and the cities the airlines serve).
It’s United that offloaded its pension obligations to employees and laid off workers in bankruptcy — long before Gulf airlines started expanding significantly to the U.S.
U.S. carriers are the most profitable airlines in the world. Yet they’re begging for government protection as though aviation was an infant industry. There’s literally no acadaemic theory undergirding such an industrial policy that’s even advocated by the small minority of economists relatively comfortable with protectionism.
Munoz is railroading (get it?) the American people. The airline is just as blatant about its attempts to use the government to limit competition against it from US airlines, too.