Georgia lawmakers made good on their threat against the Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines after it cut ties with the National Rifle Association when they passed a tax reform bill that no longer included a prior provision exempting it and other airlines from paying a state tax on jet fuel. As a result, Delta may be out of a projected savings of $40 million, but CEO Ed Bastian doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, he doubled down on Delta’s decision to drop its promotional relationship with the NRA in a company-wide memo on Friday.
“Our objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from this debate,” Bastian explained. Thanks to the Georgia GOP’s efforts to thrust the airline further into the spotlight, however, he felt it necessary to explain to his employees “how we got here and where we stand”:
While Delta’s intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course. Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.
None of this changes the fact that our home is Atlanta and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here. And we are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.
Bastian concluded by saying that he had “tremendous respect and admiration” for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, whom he claimed was “troubled” by the legislature’s actions. Even so, Business Insider notes that Deal will likely sign the bill into law.
(Via Business Insider)