Delta leaves main airline lobbying group after split on key industry issues

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Delta Air Lines is leaving the main trade and lobbying group for U.S. carriers.

The CEO of Airlines for America, Nicholas Calio, said in a statement Tuesday that Delta “has not been aligned” with other airlines on some key industry positions, including plans to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system.

Delta says the $5 million in annual membership dues could be put to better use. The airline had a $3.5 billion profit the first nine months of this year.

The association says Delta will no longer be a member as of April 26. It still includes other major U.S. carriers including American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways as well as cargo carriers FedEx, UPS and Atlas Air.