A recap of the key soundbites from the meeting between Trump and US airline CEOs in the White House:
- “You’ve done an amazing job. I know you’re under pressure from a lot of foreign elements”
- “We want to take care of you”
- “We want the traveling public to have” the best “customer service”
- “We have obsolete airports and train systems and bad roads”
- Says regulations will be rolled back
Speaking to the CEOs, Trump asked “what can we do to make your airlines better, to make your bottomlines better?” adding “You’ve got a lot of competition”; “a lot of that competition is subsidized by governments, big league"; ‘‘I heard that from the minute I got elected”
Trump lamented an out-of-date U.S. air traffic control system and criticized a federal government contract for a new system that he said was not good. As he met with airline executives, Trump said he believes the head of the Federal Aviation Administration should be a pilot. Trump said the air-traffic control system is “totally out of whack” and “its way over budget"; ‘‘It’s already outdated” as he promised to make a tax announcement in a few weeks.
He asks Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, “Why did they allow the government to put in the wrong system?” Kelly responds, “We want to get the government out of the air traffic control sytem”
Trump also says in meeting that head of FAA should be a pilot
Says “I don’t like aviation fees and taxes, I’ll be honest with you” and “raising fees will just hurt you”
And the punchline from Trump: “don’t worry about the money. I’ll be able to get the money”
At that point, reporters were escorted from the room as the meeting continued, although the message was clear: Washington subsidies are coming.
The reaction was clear:
The bottom line: "you're going to be so happy with Trump"...
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 9, 2017