Air Transport Association Commends Conference Committee for Adopting Tough Wall Street Reforms

June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today issued the following statement in response to comprehensive financial reform legislation reached by lawmakers:

"We commend the congressional conference committee and specifically Chairmen Lincoln and Peterson for completing their work of the last two years by obtaining agreement to send President Obama a strong bill that will put a stop to Wall Street's reckless and excessive speculation in oil markets," said ATA President and CEO James C. May.

During the severe oil price swings of 2008, the ATA Board of Directors established several goals, which are accomplished in this historic legislation. The bill will:

-- Rein in excessive speculation by establishing tough regulatory oversight and transparency in commodity markets -- Increase transparency by requiring exchange trading and clearing of most derivatives and other contracts, while preserving the ability of bona fide physical hedgers to continue to hedge their own commercial risks, as they do today -- Allow regulators, through aggregate position limits, to stop large financial institutions from manipulating markets, and preventing another energy bubble like the one which occurred in the summer of 2008

"Fuel costs shot up $42 billion between 2003 and 2008 due in large measure to reckless speculation. While fuel remains the airlines' highest expense, the dramatic swings in prices will be significantly contained by enactment of this measure. Increasing transparency and setting position limits, while permitting carriers to continue to hedge fuel purchases, will ensure that fuel prices will be more directly related to the fundamentals of supply and demand," said May. "Ultimately, every American has both a personal and economic interest in ensuring rational fuel prices, since transportation is what links us together with family and friends while also keeping our domestic and international businesses connected.

"We urge Congress to move forward swiftly to send this bill to the president for signature," said May.

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. On a daily basis, U.S. airlines operate approximately 25,000 flights in 80 countries, using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo.

ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For additional industry information, visit

SOURCE Air Transport Association