'America, land of the free ride' - BA head

Sept. 23, 2005 at 1:50 PM

LONDON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The outgoing chief of British Airways is blasting U.S. airline policy for promoting inefficiency and protecting unprofitability.

Rod Eddington, who is being replaced Oct. 1 at BA by Willie Walsh, said Washington had lost sight of capitalism, the BBC reported Friday.

"America, land of the free, is turning itself into the land of the free ride," Eddington said Thursday. "In the last four years, the airlines have soaked up $15 billion to $20 billion of public subsidy and loan guarantees.

"America would do itself a favor by going back to long lost principles of real and honest competition. The lessons America has been imposing on Third World markets with an almost pitiless ferocity apply to America just as much."

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