Release #: 17.06
January 31, 2017

ALPA Welcomes Confirmation of Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary with Renewed Efforts to Reverse NAI Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation by a 93 to 6 vote:

“As the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, ALPA looks forward to working with Secretary Chao on pressing issues that face the aviation industry today. We have a long and productive history of working closely with Department of Transportation officials. Through those collaborative efforts, ALPA has helped advance aviation and ensure that the United States continues to usher millions of passengers and cargo safely to global destinations each and every day. 

“Throughout her confirmation process, Secretary Chao pledged to ensure that our country’s Open Skies agreements ‘produce genuine benefits for the American people,’ a goal with which we wholeheartedly agree. Today, ALPA pilots are reaching out to Secretary Chao urging the Department of Transportation to uphold the Trump administration’s ‘America First’ governing philosophy and immediately examine the Obama Administration’s grant of a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian Air International in order to revoke or suspend that permit.

“ALPA has been a vocal opponent of NAI’s flag-of-convenience business model that has already significantly diminished our county’s maritime shipping industry. We urge Secretary Chao to begin the process to overturn an Obama Administration’s decision that hurts American aviation workers and creates an unlevel playing field for foreign air carriers. It is time to protect U.S. jobs, enforce our trade agreements and put America first.

“We look forward to working with Secretary Chao as she begins her tenure of leading the largest and most complex aviation system in the world.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 54,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or