Delta and Northwest


    Delta Air Expects 65,000 Applicants for 1,000 Jobs
    July 16, 2010, 11:18 AM EDT

    July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s largest carrier, said it anticipates getting about 65,000 applications for its 1,000 airport job openings as millions of Americans continue to look for work.

    The airline is hiring workers at its 25 biggest U.S. airports to help with planes that are flying with near-record percentages of seats filled and cope with weather disruptions, Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson said today in a weekly recorded message to employees.

    The company often gets “many multiples” of applications when it has job openings, he said. Delta has about 81,000 employees and previously said it plans to hire about 240 pilots.

    Delta is expanding its workforce as travel demand and fares increase, helping repair balance sheets and return the industry to profitability. The Atlanta-based carrier may report second- quarter net income of $510 million on July 19, based on the average of 5 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

    U.S. airlines employed 18,756 fewer workers in May than a year earlier, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The industry’s total workforce was 557,400 people for the month, the agency reported.

    The June unemployment rate was 9.5 percent for the U.S. and 10 percent for Georgia, according to government data.

    --Editors: John Lear, Romaine Bostick


    ALPA Member
    I don't know about other positions, but with pilots the hiring target has been increased to 305 for the rest of the 2010. We have 37000 applications from pilots with total time over 7000/2500tPIC hours.


    ORD watcher
    US majors earn $1.45 billion in second quarter
    By Aaron Karp | August 18, 2010

    With Delta Air Lines leading the way with a $467 million second quarter profit, the nine largest US passenger airlines posted cumulative net income of $1.45 billion for the three months ended June 30, turned around from a net loss of $556 million in the year-ago period, ATW calculated.

    The carriers enjoyed an 18.5% year-over-year rise in combined revenue to $31.47 billion, outpacing a 9.5% climb in expenses to $28.85 billion that was mostly attributable to higher fuel costs. Operating income was $2.82 billion, significantly widened from a $182 million operating profit in the year-ago period.

    All nine carriers were profitable on an operating basis and only American Airlines incurred a net loss (ATW Daily News, July 22).

    US majors' collective second quarter capacity was flat at 217.9 billion ASMs while traffic rose only 1.6% to 182.06 billion RPKs, producing a load factor of 83.5%, up 1.3 points. The nine airlines' average yield jumped 14.4% to 13.36 cents as RASM lifted 17% to 11.92 cents and CASM grew 9.6% to 11.33 cents. Excluding fuel, CASM increased just 1.9% to 7.66 cents.


    ALPA Member
    I think the merger overall went through very well. I am very impressed with how smooth the changes took place comparing to a lot of examples in history.
    ExNWA pilots I had a chance to work with so far are great. Their flight attendants, ramp and CS agents are a little colder then their counterparts at DAL south, just because they have been lied to so much more and they see more value in the union representation.
    It's been a hard summer with a lot of crossfleeting, but looks like we pulled it through :) Messed up MiG-31's travel plans a couple of times, but pulled it through :)

    FA's vote is on Sept. 29th, the results should be out by the 3rd of Nov.


    Delta Adds Wifi to Regional Jets, Gets Closer to Matching the Mainline Experience
    November 30, 2010

    For years, we’ve all put up with airlines having two types of onboard products. They had the mainline product on larger airplanes actually flown by that airline and then they had the regional product for those flights on smaller airplanes operated by third party carriers. It was, to see the least, a wildly different experience. Now, however, Delta has been working to harmonize the two, and the announcement that it will put wifi on its 70- and 90-seat regional jets is welcome news. Hopefully others take the hint and start harmonizing their product offerings further as well.

    It’s no surprise that the different product standards emerged. Regional airlines were originally meant to fly short hops into small towns. Would you have expected First Class on that 19-seat prop flying 30 minutes from Dubuque? Probably not. But regionals changed.

    The invention of the 50-seat jet started to push airlines to use them on longer routes. I remember seeing 50-seaters on routes like Cincinnati to Colorado Springs, routes that are over 1,000 miles and certainly in need mainline comfort levels. But the 50-seat jets were tiny and spartan and not much was going to change since they still predominantly flew shorter haul flights anyway.

    When the regionals started flying 70- and 90-seat jets under the big airline brands, that was the breaking point. The line became too blurry between mainline and regionals on the route map but the product still lagged. Sometimes, airlines thought that was good. America West even went as far as putting First Class on its 70-seat jets and then later opting to fly 90-seat jets instead with an all-coach configuration (something that lives on today with US Airways). Two airlines, however, have worked to bring the standard of flying on larger regional jets up, United and Delta. It’s no surprise that these two would be the leaders since they have the biggest fleets of 70- and 90-seat jets.

    For United, the integration was an awkward effort. Instead of trying to bring it up to a mainline standard, the airline invented a new brand called explus. Then again, this was around the time when United thought it was fun to brand everything different (Ted, p.s., etc). I don’t know if the brand is even still used, but the product differentiation is still there. The 70-seaters do offer First Class, but it’s not what you’ll get on mainline flights. You will, for example, get a meal on flights over 2 hours as on mainline, but your “meal” will be a snack box. Not quite the same.

    The differences also exist in the back of the bus. While you can buy a snack box on mainline flights, you won’t have that option on United Express. You’ll also get no inflight entertainment at all no matter where you’re sitting. It’s just not the same experience.

    Delta, however, is trying to bring the products together closer. As with United, all of the 70- and 90-seat jets will have First Class, but on Delta, those travelers now get meals on china with linens and silverware. It may not be the same food (I don’t actually know) as on mainline but it will be a similar experience. And now, Delta will be putting wireless internet on all of the 70- and 90-seat jets flying the Delta brand.

    Over the years, the introduction of 70- and 90-seat jets has pushed most of the 50-seat jets back on to smaller, shorter routes. Cincinnati-Colorado Springs is no longer operated as part of the incredible shrinking hub, but Cincinnati to Denver is on a 70-seat jet. Since the 50-seaters are moving back to where they belong (though arguably, you can say they belong parked in the desert), that lets Delta set a service standard.

    Delta has previously said that it wanted to have individual screens at each seat on flights over 4 hours in length. No regional jet is currently flying that far, so it’s not an issue. But now, Delta is saying that any flight longer than 2.5 hours will have First Class and wireless internet available. Anything less than 2.5 hours and the bet is off, but really, it doesn’t matter on the short flights. Delta realizes it’s not worth outfitting a bunch of 50-seaters with wifi because the flights are too short.

    So now, the regional experience is creeping ever closer to the mainline experience. Mainline pilots will likely tell you that you aren’t getting the same level of safety when you fly on a regional, but that’s a topic for another time. In terms of onboard product, the two are finally heading towards one.


    California Sues Delta Airlines Over Mobile App Privacy
    By Don Thompson December 10, 2012 6:40AM

    California sued Delta Airlines Inc. on Thursday, alleging the Atlanta-based company is breaking state law by not warning users that the airline is collecting sensitive information each time customers contact the company on its "Fly Delta" mobile application.
    Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the suit in San Francisco Superior Court in the first legal test of the state's 8-year-old Online Privacy Protection Act.

    California is the only state with such a law, which requires companies to prominently notify users of their mobile apps about what personally identifiable information is being collected and how it will be used.
    Harris says the company missed a 30-day window to comply with the privacy law on its "Fly Delta" app, which is designed for use on smartphones and other mobile devices. Customers can log on to check in for a flight, review reservations, book flights and pay for checked baggage.

    The lawsuit alleges the site lacks privacy warnings even though it collects the customer's full name, telephone number, email and mailing address, along with more sensitive information like birth dates and credit card numbers.
    Delta spokesman Anthony Black said company policy prohibits him from commenting on pending litigation.

    Harris, a Democrat, is seeking an injunction barring Delta from distributing the application until it posts a privacy policy. She is asking for a penalty of up to $2,500 for each violation, though the lawsuit leaves it up to a judge to determine what constitutes a violation.

    "California law is clear that mobile apps collecting personal information need privacy policies, and that the users of those apps deserve to know what is being done with their personal information," Harris said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
    Harris previously reached an agreement with seven companies to warn users about their privacy policy in a consistent, prominent way before consumers download the mobile application. The companies agreeing to comply with California's law are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion.


    ORD watcher
    Delta Tops 2013 FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies Airline Industry List

    Feb 28, 2013

    ATLANTA, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today issued the following memo from CEO Richard Anderson to its 80,000 employees worldwide.

    To: Delta Colleagues Worldwide

    From: Richard Anderson

    Subject: Delta Named 2013 FORTUNE Most Admired Airline

    Congratulations! FORTUNE magazine has ranked Delta the most admired airline in its World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list. This is really an award that says Delta people are the most admired employees in the global airline industry. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Rules of the Road and our annual Flight Plan. This is the second time in three years that you have been named the most admired airline.

    The annual FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies airlines list is based on results of a global survey of airline executives, boards of directors and Wall Street analysts who rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria: people management, quality of management, innovation, long-term investment, use of corporate assets, financial soundness, social responsibility, quality of product and services and global competitiveness.

    During the past year, we have widened the gap against our competitors thanks to a host of initiatives like our investments in you, our expansion at LaGuardia Airport in New York, our new venture with Virgin Atlantic Airways – which will greatly expand our presence at London Heathrow Airport – the Trainer refinery, the growth of our Asian gateway in Seattle, and our focus on boosting our Latin America presence along with partners such as GOL and Aeromexico.

    Thanks to the efforts of our employees worldwide, Delta today leads the industry in operational excellence, financial performance and customer satisfaction. Our investments in the customer experience – including airport facilities, aircraft and technology – continue to pay off, but it is the investment in our people where we see the results every day.

    The best part of Delta is our unique culture, which places dignity, respect and teamwork at the forefront of what we do every day. That is why Delta people shared in the company's success with $372 million recently paid out in profit sharing checks to employees worldwide and $91 million in Shared Rewards payments for meeting our monthly operational goals.

    So thank you for running an excellent airline and for continuing to make Delta a great place to work for all of us every day. And congratulations on again putting Delta at the top of the list of the world's most admired airlines.

    Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta won 33 airline industry awards sweeping the major corporate travel surveys including Business Travel News, Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Recommend Magazine and The Beat. Delta was also a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award for exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve employees. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 319 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at


    ORD watcher
    Counterpoint: Delta takes flight attendant fatigue seriously
    Updated: June 1, 2013

    The May 26 article “Many flight attendants dangerously exhausted” examined an issue that Delta Air Lines takes very seriously. We work closely with our flight attendants to help ensure they have adequate rest opportunities.

    We believe the vast majority of our flight attendant professionals, who take great pride in their training, customer service and good judgment, would take offense at the assertion that they would choose to fly routes where they would not have the opportunity for adequate rest.

    A few key points the article overlooked:

    • Delta’s rules for flight attendant rest, which exceed Federal Aviation Administration requirements, offer great flexibility for attendants to choose the length and duration of trips they work, and they have the ability to manage their schedules to ensure adequate rest.

    • Of all the trips our flight attendants can choose, the long-haul, international flights described in the article are among the most sought-after.

    • Delta provides a broad slate of tools to combat fatigue, including rest facilities and opportunities on aircraft and at airports, and hotels that are well-suited for a restful sleep.

    • Our flight attendants also are provided a wealth of information on fatigue management and strategies for ensuring adequate rest.

    It’s unfortunate that the article highlighted a tiny number of flight attendants who have had unusual issues in this area, or who may have a hidden agenda.

    The vast majority of our flight attendants, who are the best in the world, work hard every day to ensure a safe work environment at all times for themselves, their coworkers and their customers.

    Joanne Smith


    Microsoft Surface 2 Tablets Go Flying with Delta
    By Seth Fitzgerald, September 30, 2013 3:16PM

    Pilots lead difficult lives between the stress of flying a plane and keeping hundreds of people safe everyday, not to mention the relatively low income they earn. In addition, pilots are generally required to haul around pounds upon pounds of manuals and maps, everywhere they go. Delta Airlines recognizes the added burden of hauling paper, and has decided to give its pilots a break by ordering more than 11,000 of Microsoft 's just released Surface 2 tablets, to be distributed to its workforce .
    The Surface tablets will allow the flight crew to have easy access to essential tools and the most up-to-date, flight-related resources, including navigational charts, reference documents, and checklists. At the same time, Delta estimates that carrying tablets rather than pounds of manuals will save the airline roughly $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs.

    Surface to the Rescue

    For starters, Delta pilots who fly its Boeing 757s and 767s will be receiving the Surface tablets. However, Delta stated that it hopes to expand the program soon, to provide tablets to its other pilots, as well. The airline is also trying to get approval from the FAA to use the new Surface tablets during actual flights and not just before takeoff.

    Delta says that providing Surface tablets to pilots is just one of the many ways that the company has been coming up with technologically savvy ways to improve its services and makes its employees' lives easier.
    The Delta Electronic Flight Bag -- as the company has decided to call it -- will include the Surface 2 tablets running on Windows 8.1 and will also include an application called 'FliteDeck Pro' that should help pilots plan for their flights.

    A Better, Faster, Lighter Solution

    In theory, the tablets should give pilots easy access to the most up-to-date information regarding routes and because of that, Delta says, the new program should help the airline save $12 to $13 million each year in fuel and other costs.

    For an airline, such as Delta, the ability to update manuals and other flight information with the click of a button is far more efficient than other options. And of course, for pilots who are accustomed to lugging around pounds of manuals, switching to tablets will be a huge advantage.

    The airline industry seems to have been slower than many other industries with regard to upgrading to mobile technology, primarily because of regulations regarding use of personal electronics on planes. But with the popularity of tablets and lightweight laptops, plus the potential boost in profitability, other airlines are likely to follow suit with the move toward mobile.


    Delta Attendants Handle In-Flight Orders with MS Dynamics
    By Barry Levine, August 28, 2013 2:55PM

    A new tool for processing meal orders is flying at Delta Air Lines. The transactions are conducted by flight attendants using a Windows Phone connected to Microsoft Dynamics for Retail.
    This week, the airline announced that its more than 19,000 flight attendants will be using Nokia Lumia 820 handsets running Windows Phone 8, connected via Wi-Fi and AT&T's 4G LTE network to the Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform . The solution was jointly developed by Microsoft, Avanade, AT&T and Nokia.

    The system utilizes the Connected Stores Solution from global business technology and managed services provider Avanade, which enables mobile devices to conduct in-store sales and provides advanced analytics to assess performance by employees.

    Avanade Mobile Airline Platform

    The system, which began testing in June, is based on a customized-for-Delta version of the Avanade Mobile Airline Platform, an end-to-end retail platform developed with Accenture, Avanade's parent company, for Microsoft Dynamics for Retail software . Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture and Microsoft.

    Avanade integrated the solution into Delta's operational structure, and, for the next three years, will provide ongoing support, maintenance and solution enhancements. By the end of this month, Nokia Lumia 820s will have been distributed to all Delta flight attendants.

    Dan O' Hara, Avanade's mobility vice president, said in a statement that "companies in all industries need to enable an end-to-end customer experience across multiple channels." He added that Delta, in particular, wanted to "enable its employees with new ways of working that can drive greater productivity and better engagement with customers."

    In addition to handling customer orders on board the aircraft, the system also handles passenger manifests, frequent flyer information, updates about connecting gates, scheduling updates for flight attendants and other dynamic information. The Live Tiles interface offers local weather information and flight tracking data from Delta's Fly application.

    Seating Upgrades, E-Receipts

    The solution can process credit cards at near real-time speeds for on-board purchases, which can also include upgrades in seating. E-receipts can be sent via e-mail to customers, and the airline plans to add the ability to read coupons displayed on a customer's mobile device. The faster operational times available through the mobile-enabled system are expected to allow more transactions by attendants and more time to attend to passengers' needs.

    Additionally, Delta said it will roll out the ability for flight attendants to view customer-specific information, enabling a greater personalization of service. The airline is also expecting to adapt the system for the newest Nokia devices.

    Delta has been busy developing technology for customers and employees. Last year, it released the Fly Delta travel app for the iPad, and it launched the new in December, 2012. Self-service kiosks, rebuilt for better customer service and expanded capability, were also unveiled last fall.


    ORD watcher


    ORD watcher
    Delta: Final DC-9 flight will be Jan. 6
    Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY 3:28 p.m. EST December 27, 2013

    Delta Air Lines' last DC-9 flight will come Jan. 6, the carrier announced this week.
    That flight will depart Minneapolis/St. Paul at 4:20 p.m. on Jan. 6 before arriving in Atlanta a little before 7 p.m.
    To acknowledge the DC-9's retirement, the last flight has been tagged DL2014 – noting the final year of service for the aircraft. The preceding flight on that aircraft – operating from Detroit to Minneapolis/St. Paul – will be flight DL1965, with that number denoting the aircraft's initial year of service.

    Delta says it will be the last scheduled commercial flight of the DC-9 by a major U.S. airline.
    "The DC-9 has been a workhorse in our domestic fleet while providing a reliable customer experience," Nat Pieper, Delta's VP – Fleet Strategy, says in a statement. "The aircraft's retirement paves the way for newer, more efficient aircraft."

    Delta was the launch customer for the original 65-seat version of the DC-9 in 1965, when the airline began to replace propeller aircraft on its high-frequency, short-haul domestic routes. DC-9s had exited Delta's fleet by 1993, but returned as Delta inherited the DC-9s in Northwest's fleet when those carriers merged in 2008. Northwest's DC-9s come from that airline's acquisition of Republic Airlines in 1986.

    Delta says it has flown a total of 305 DC-9s since 1965.

    In announcing the retirement of its last DC-9 jets, Delta notes it has removed or retired more than 350 aircraft from its fleet since 2008. Among the aircraft being phased out of Delta's fleet: 50-seat CRJ-200s; Saab 340s and – now – the DC-9s.
    Delta says it has replaced much of the flying on those aircraft types by "adding economically efficient, proven-technology aircraft such as the Boeing 777-200LR; two-class, 65 and 76-seat regional jets and variants of the 737 and 717, largely on a capacity-neutral basis."
    Delta also has an order for 30 Airbus A321 jets, which are scheduled to begin arriving at the airline in 2016.



    ORD watcher
    Delta Sells Rock-Bottom Fares By Mistake
    The Fares—Some Under $5—Will Be Honored by the Airline

    By Jack Nicas
    Dec. 26, 2013 1:51 p.m. ET

    Amid the craziness of holiday travel, some customers scored a big win on Thursday when they found incredibly low fares on Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL -3.05% 's website.
    Delta said the fares—which included round-trip, cross-country flights for $25—were errors. But the airline said it would honor the fares.

    The glitch, which appeared around 10 a.m. EST, caused some domestic flights to be offered for below $5, not including taxes and fees, according to screenshots from, which tracks airline pricing.
    It appears Delta then took down its website to prevent more fliers from booking the erroneous fares. The website was back up by midday Thursday and a Delta spokesman said the glitch has been resolved.

    Tazmun Nahar, who runs, which tracks airfares, said she received an alert about the cheap fares Thursday morning. "So then we did some quality assurance" to confirm the fares, she said. "And we couldn't believe our eyes."
    She quickly booked a $25 round-trip flight between New York and Seattle and three round-trip seats between New York and Los Angeles for $75 total. "Isn't that insane?" she said.

    United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL -3.39% experienced a similar error earlier this year when it offered mistake fares—including some that were virtually free not including taxes and fees. In that case, United also honored the mistaken fares.
    George Hobica, founder of, said some airlines have language in their booking contracts that allows them to not honor fares posted by mistake. "But they do honor them typically," he said.


    Delta CEO Richard Anderson Links Gulf Airlines Like Emirates And Etihad To 9/11 Attacks


    Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson appeared on CNN Monday, linking Persian Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. CNN
    Update 4:45 p.m. EST: Delta Air Lines responded to International Business Times's request for clarification after this story had been published. Spokeswoman Betsy Talton said this in a statement emailed to IBT:

    “The point Richard was making is this: Emirates, Qatar and Etihad have long tried to defend their government bankrolls by characterizing the 9/11 payments and Chapter 11 bankruptcy as subsidies. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The first was a modest one-time payment to U.S. airlines in the aftermath of the U.S. airspace closure after 9/11. That shutdown and its aftermath resulted in the loss of tens of thousands airline jobs and billions of dollars in debt and equity for investors. Ch. 11 is a completely transparent process that involves no government funding.

    The Middle East carriers, meanwhile, capitalized on that difficult time in the industry's history to begin in earnest an unfettered expansion that was largely paid for with subsidies from their governments.”

    Original story:

    Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson made waves during an on-air interview Monday with CNN journalist Richard Quest when he linked rival Persian Gulf-region airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Anderson appeared on “Quest Means Business” to discuss the unfair advantages -- as perceived by U.S. airlines -- Gulf carriers possess by way of alleged government assistance and subsidies.

    When asked whether Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections for American carriers also could be considered government assistance, Anderson responded, “It’s a great irony to have the UAE from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.”

    Delta, the world’s second largest airline by passengers carried, did not immediately respond to a request by International Business Times to clarify Anderson’s comments.

    The full exchange is below:

    Richard Quest: To the allegation that, well, you restructured under Chapter 11. The U.S. fleet certainly gains benefits from the civil defense fleet. American has just restructured. The argument is that you, in your own ways, have had your hand in the bailout trough.

    Richard Anderson: That is categorically false. And it’s a great irony to have the UAE from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula. That caused us to go through a massive restructuring. And in the United States our restructuring process is transparent and there is no government subsidy. And in fact there were billions of dollars of equity and unsecured debt that were wiped out through that process.

    Anderson’s inflammatory remarks come at a time when American air carriers are waging a campaign to get the government to roll back some provisions of the “open skies” agreements the U.S. has with countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. These treaties allow airlines to operate in each other’s countries without restriction.

    Persian Gulf carriers have expanded significantly in the American market in recent years, gobbling up revenue that once would have belonged to legacy carriers like American, Delta and United. A recent report circulated to the White House by the three U.S. airlines indicated that their share of bookings from the U.S. to destinations in South and Southeast Asia dropped by five percentage points to 34 percent since 2008, while combined bookings on Emirates, Qatar and Etihad for the same routes soared to 40 percent in 2014, up from 12 percent in 2008.

    Such numbers certainly have U.S. carriers running scared. But analysts say that despite these circumstances, Anderson’s remarks were inappropriate and inaccurate.

    “Mr. Anderson’s comments are simply unacceptable and are beneath him. The Gulf carriers played no role in 9/11. It’s a completely inappropriate analogy to make,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research Group who has known Anderson since both worked for Continental Airlines in the 1980s. “I was stunned because he’s typically a very careful and thoughtful communicator. It’s completely out of character for him.”

    Fifteen of the Sept. 11 hijackers were, in fact, from Saudi Arabia -- whose state-owned airline, if one wants to extend Anderson's analogy, is not a threat to U.S. carriers. American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines have all filed for bankruptcy in the last 13 years.

    After the interview with Anderson, Quest publicly invited the CEOs of Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways to appear on his show in response to the contentious comments. Executives from the Gulf airlines have addressed allegations of government assistance in the past. Most recently, Emirates CEO Tim Clark told UAE newspaper the National that his airline has never received financial subsidies or bailouts.