Friday, November 07, 2008

Feels like Paris - photo needs a $9M subsidy to get there

Who wants to go to Paris? Who wants to pay $9-million to Delta Airlines as a 'golden parachute' on its risk for flights from Pittsburgh to Paris?
Live Blogging an interview:
Dan Onorato on Marty Griffin: Not true. There is a backstop guarantee. And, it is 'private money.'
Why does it matter. It is much easier to do the transfers in Europe than in the US on the east coast. You loose an entire day.
We have 330 companies in Pgh that employ 46,000 people. They were loosing a day of work.
If you give us direct flights, we'll provide the tickets.
Most airports offer a waiver of landing fees of flights to airports. You give us direct flights, we'll waive landing fees. Not lost revenue.
We'll guarantee so much revenue. It is a bonus of $5M in first year. $4M in second year. There are only two years in this deal. That's the $9M in the headline.
The first year's total of $5M breaks with $2.5 M from private companies and $2.5M from the commonwealth. That's PA Tax Money going to Delta. In year two, it is $2Million from private sector and $2Millionn from PA. Real money from Pennsylvania is $2.5M + $2M.
Private sector does not want to pay for this. But, who is the 'private money' supplier -- exactly?
Onorat said, "International companies are key!" Dan Onorato could not put the county into the deal. The private sector has really stepped up.
Onorato: "I want to have this conversation a year from now. If they pack it, (the flights from Pittsburgh to Paris) then the state would not need to have the state nor private money involved."
Then a caller to the show said that the last thing that this region needs is another fleecing from an airline company. We need transparency.
Perhaps the reporting wasn't 'ideal.' But, it isn't 'transparent.'
Companies that offer a 'backstop' are on the hook. But, who is going to extract that money from them if needed? How does that deal work, exactly?

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