American Airlines had apparently feared losing their fuel tax exemptions in North Carolina which amount to big government breaks on the cost of fuel there.
[T]he cost to North Carolina taxpayers to US Airways has amounted to over $58 million. Each year, airlines in North Carolina get $37 million in tax breaks, which is particularly important to American Airlines since it’s merger with US Airways. In North Carolina under the exemption, airlines are only required to pay tax on fuel used within the state. Additionally, there is a cap on the amount of jet fuel sales tax paid by airlines.
The North Carolina House passed its budget without touching American’s tax subsidies. The state Senate has yet to take up the budget.
But wait. I’m confused. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says it’s unfair that he has to compete with big Middle East airlines which he claims are the ones getting government subsidies.
Never mind that American’s first major aircraft order was backed by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, that US Airways offloaded its pension obligations on the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, or that Parker personally lobbied for American West’s cash injections from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
Of course Parker doesn’t compete with these airlines for the most part. American doesn’t fly to the Mideast. They don’t fly to India or Pakistan. And they partner with two of the three big Gulf carriers, Etihad and Qatar.
What’s more they even share revenue with British Airways and Iberia, whose single largest owner is… Qatar.
So why not lobby hard for your own subsidies while lobbying the government for protection from competition too?