Delta Air Lines CEO told employees that the company ended their discount with the National Rifle Association so that it would “remain neutral” in the gun control debate.
“Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides,” he wrote. “We are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.”
Bastian continued, “I know it is not comfortable to be caught in a highly emotional debate, and many of you have received questions from customers. We are at our best when we bring our customers and our world closer together. Hopefully, our decisions this week will serve this ultimate cause.”
Last Saturday, the airline announced that it would end the travel discount it had previously offered to people traveling to the NRA’s annual meeting.
It also requested Delta’s name and logo to be removed from NRA’s website.
After this announcement, Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened Delta Air Lines over what he suggests is unfair treatment.
The lieutenant governor announced Monday that, unless Delta reinstates its ties with the National Rifle Association, he will halt any tax legislation slated to benefit the major airline company.
“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Cagle tweeted. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”
The threat to the company from the lieutenant governor came at a time when Delta was near to convincing lawmakers to restore a $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel, as it would be the prime beneficiary of the tax cut.
“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,” Bastian responded in his memo. “Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale.”
Even though the airline cut its partnership with the NRA, it still continues to donate to left-leaning groups such as Planned Parenthood, according to The Washington Examiner.
“Delta has no problem supporting left-wing organizations and abortion advocates, while they cut ties with 2nd Amendment rights advocates,” Sen. Michael Williams said on CNN. “That’s not neutral! I look forward to Brianna Keilar explaining the truth to her viewers.”
The airline has since received criticism over the reported support of other organizations.
“We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature,” Bastian said.
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