Cantwell, Rockefeller Say Airlines Should Not Profit From Passenger Tax Holiday

Senators Question Head of ATA and Delta CEO Richard Anderson for Letting Industry Gouge Consumers on Ticket Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aviation Operations, Safety and Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) today asked the nation’s airlines to either stop profiting off of the temporary expiration of ticket taxes or agree to return airline ticket tax funds into the trust fund that pays for improvements to airports and next-generation air traffic control.

In a letter sent to Mr. Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines and Chairman of the Air Transport Association, Rockefeller and Cantwell said airlines should set aside money from the lapse of aviation taxes so that it can go to pay for the nation’s aviation system:

“We are deeply perplexed by the industry’s pocketing of passenger tax revenue even though they expired on July 22, 2011.  Most of ATA members have elected not to pass the savings along to consumers through reduced ticket prices, but rather have decided to increase the base fare of airline tickets…We urge the nation’s airlines to put all of the profits that they are making from the lapse of the aviation taxes into an escrow account so that they can be transferred back into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund when Congress reinstates the taxes.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.