Delta reviewing ties with all 'politically divisive' groups after NRA controversy

Ann Santiago
March 5, 2018

"I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA", Casey Cagle, the state's lieutenant governor and GOP frontrunner for governor in 2018, tweeted Monday. "Corporations can not attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back", he posted on social media.

Deal, who has said he will sign the tax bill, said a lot of people share the blame for the dispute. Georgia's current governor is Republican Nathan Deal, and he boasted late a year ago that tourism in 2016 produced a record $60.8 billion in economic impact for the state. "Delta continues to support the 2 Amendment".

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.

"Our discounted travel benefit for NRA members could be seen as Delta implicitly endorsing the NRA". Delta also secured another win in getting Qatar Airways to agree to open its books, after repeated complaints that the airline and two other Middle Eastern airlines receive government subsidies that make it hard for us carriers to compete.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the Atlanta company would not rescind its cancellation of discounts for those with an NRA membership, HuffPost reported Friday.

But "Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale", Bastian writes. He declined to provide a list of potentially divisive groups with access to discounted fares. This decision followed the NRA's controversial statements after the recent school shootings in Florida. "That is not the case", Bastian said.

Delta recently signed a 20-year lease to keep its hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, and business consultants said other Atlanta-based firms, such as Coca-Cola and UPS, will likely stay put too.

The calls for Delta to move appear to be more of a political statement than genuine economic development, said Ady Milman, professor at UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality.

One South Georgia state lawmaker said Friday he does not believe Delta Airlines would relocate its headquarters out of the state.

Wednesday, Gov. Deal placed some blame on the pressures of Cagle's gubernatorial run.

Atlanta is now on a short list of 20 candidates to become the home of Amazon's second headquarters, known as HQ2.

Delta is one of several companies, along with MetLife and Hertz, that have cut ties with the NRA after the Parkland school shooting. Walmart, Kroger and Dick's Sporting Goods have tightened their gun sales policies.

Gov. Rick Scott is supporting the state's most substantive gun-restriction proposals in decades - raising to 21 the age to buy any firearm, banning "bump stocks" that can make a semi-automatic weapon fire more rapidly and calling for $500 million for mental-health initiatives and school safety.

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