World Economy

US Airlines Receive Benefits Worth $71b

US Airlines Receive Benefits Worth $71bUS Airlines Receive Benefits Worth $71b

US airlines have received benefits valued at $71.48 billion, more than $70 billion of which has been since 2000, enabling the nation’s three largest carriers to transition from the verge of bankruptcy to today’s industry leaders, each achieving multi-billion dollar profits, according to a recent research.

The research commissioned by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, quantified a range of government and court-sanctioned benefits and concessions received by the three biggest US carriers, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines Group, and other airlines with which they have merged, TradeArabia reported.

Last year, the three big US carriers generated collective net profits of $8.97 billion, equivalent to 45 percent of the total $19.9 billion profits achieved last year by the global airline industry.

The trend has continued into this year, with all three major US airlines announcing strong net profits for the first quarter.

The international consultancy The Risk Advisory Group, which conducted the research for Etihad, identified that the majority of benefits which accrued to Delta, United and American came from restructuring under Chapter 11 of the US Federal Bankruptcy Code, yielding them at least $35.46 billion, and additional pension fund bailouts totalling $29.4 billion from the US government’s Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

Etihad has consistently denied claims by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines that it received subsidies, and has stated publicly that it has received equity and shareholder loans from its sole shareholder, the government of Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate and capital of the UAE.