A trade association for major airlines in the United States, Airlines for America, said that the airline industry earned a profit of less than half a penny for every dollar of revenue that was generated in 2011. This poor profit performance was not just a stroke of bad luck. Over the past ten years, airlines have collectively lost approximately $50 billion.
CEO of the trade group, Nicholas Calio, said that changes have to be made to improve the profitability of the airline industry, and he recommended the implementation of a “National Airline Policy”. The policy is expected to serve five important functions, namely, reduce regulations, lower taxes, remove foreign investment limits, upgrade infrastructure, and reduce speculation of oil prices.
The hard part, however, is to get the Congress to act. According to Calio, in the past few decades, the government has had a policy that generally neglects the profitability of airlines, and the industry is “withering” as a result of that. The association has already submitted a 59-page document to propose its plan to the Department of Transportation. Additionally, it has begun to work with relevant members of the Congress to pass the legislation required for the implementation of a revival plan for the aviation industry.
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