Airports Authority Statement Regarding United Airlines

Published: December 09, 2002


The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Authority) is disappointed that the Air Transportation Stabilization Board decided to reject United Airlines' loan request. The Authority had previously provided a letter of support for United's application.

Being well aware of the financial difficulties the airline industry has been dealing with for some time, and of United's situation in particular, the Authority has taken several steps to reduce its costs and spending plans. These actions include scaling back by $1.5 billion our capital construction program at Dulles Airport with respect to facilities that would have increased United's financial obligations. For the second consecutive year, the Authority's Board of Directors has adopted an austere budget, which contains very limited increases to cover higher costs for security and insurance requirements, but just as importantly has not increased the airlines' costs to operate at our airports.

We will continue to work closely with United Airlines as they determine any restructuring or changes to service. The Authority remains confident in the strength of the Washington region's air travel market.

The Authority will also continue to closely work with United and the other airlines serving the market to ensure the continued provision of cost effective airport facilities and services.

Speaking on behalf of United, Chris Bowers, the company's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, said, "Regardless of the path we take to address our financial concerns, United will continue to fly and to deliver exceptional service to our customers worldwide. We remain committed to serving our passengers at Dulles and at the other airports serving the Washington Metropolitan region."