The United States’ airline industry and its employees operate in a hyper-competitive international marketplace. The U.S. airline industry has lost $48.1 billion since 2000. In the last 12 years, there have been only 5 profitable years for the industry. This is an industry that has been unable to meet its cost of capital and is known for not generating healthy margins, even in the best of times. It is very clear that the airline industry continues to face significant challenges. Competition from foreign airlines, which are often state-owned or heavily state-sponsored and vertically integrated and operate from countries with low or nonexistent tax and regulatory burdens, is growing rapidly and impeding international growth for U.S. airlines. In addition, with virtually unlimited access to the U.S. market through the more than 100 Open Skies agreements the United States has signed with other nations, foreign airlines are stealing market share from U.S. airlines and threatening domestic carriers in our own backyard. As a result, U.S. airlines and their employees find themselves in survival mode, adapting to a global marketplace that for them is an unlevel playing field.

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