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The Airline Pilots Association International (ALPA), which is the largest pilots union in North America, wrote a letter to its member, calling to attention the announcement made last month by airlines in the European Union (EU) of their intentions to yet again, change laws in the U.S. associated with foreign ownership of airways in the United States.

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ALPA is hardly surprised as they were suspicious that the EU was scheming to attack U.S. laws on foreign ownership and control. In a letter to its members, ALPA expressed its dismay on hearing of the EU’s plans to allow foreign investors globally to buy and control U.S. airways.  It sees this as a disaster, as this can gravely impact their careers as well as their carriers. The shocking news has devastated the pilots association as it comes just when the U.S. airways are finally recovering from the distress of the last decade.

ALPA sees this as a take over of the U.S. airways international flights. The pilots association says that if foreign investors including regionally owned airways in China, the Middle East and the EU were to succeed with their plans, they could reverse the origination and destination points of a flight.  For instance, a flight from Chicago to Singapore and then back to Chicago would become a Singapore to Chicago and then back to Singapore flight. The same commuters would be on the flight, except that this would be done by foreign based air crews functioning under an entirely different set of security and safety regulations.

This decision by foreign airways is akin to what has ensued in the U.S. to the maritime industry. Essentially, American air carriers would turn into feeders for the overseas owners’ global flying, and consequently, take over domestic flying in the United States, a move that will devastate airways in the U.S. An instance of what could transpire in the United States can be seen in what occurred in Australia, recently. An announcement was made of the new global partnership between Quantas, which is Australia’s flagship airway, and Dubai based airway, Emirates.  

It is apparent that Emirates will run majority of the global flying, whereas Quantas remains mainly a domestic feeder carrier. In a statement by ALPA, they pointed out that the Quantas-Emirates Airways deal has seen that Emirates whose population is not as large as Australia’s will run 76 of the weekly Australia-Dubai flights, while Quantas will run only 15. In addition, Emirates will capture most of Quantas’ flights into Asia and Europe. Out of the daily flights into Heathrow, Emirates will take more than half of the flights while Quantas takes the remaining flights.

Captain Lee Moak, ALPA’s president, in his letter, summoned the union’s pilots to rise as one cohesive group to demand that U.S. leaders in Washington rise up against the European Union, and vote against any  amendments to the laws that would  permit overseas ownership of airways in the U.S. This decision will impact the U.S. economy and the safety of flight passengers. It is for this reason why it is crucial that everybody gets in touch with their representatives in congress, and advice them to vote against such enactment.

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