Could China Take Over US Airlines?

In recent weeks, the United States has become aware of the deadly Chinese connection to our supply chains, and the President has been moving to address it. But it’s not just medicine or medical equipment: our US airlines are at extreme risk, according to Stephen Yates, former Deputy National Security Adviser to Dick Cheney.

Screenshot of Fox News video showing Delta planes parked.

Yates wrote:

United Airlines sold 22 of its planes to the Bank of China in April because it was starved for revenue during the pandemic. This could be just the beginning.

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Unless Congress acts, most of the commercial aircraft operating in America could be owned by Chinese companies.

China is exploiting two of the U.S.’s greatest strengths: Massive economic might and openness to world commerce. The coronavirus is providing an opportunity for a long-term play to weaken us…

…Here’s how China wins. When U.S. airlines can’t pay their monthly rent on aircraft, leasing companies are left holding the bag. These companies stand to lose up to 95 percent of their income.

Because they have financial support from the federal government, airlines won’t go out of business. But the companies that actually own the aircraft they fly will.

What will happen to these aircraft if the companies that own them fail? One likely scenario is that they will be purchased for pennies on the dollar by Chinese leasing companies. Since there really is no ‘private sector’ in China, the Chinese government will own the plane you are flying on.”

Many of the American leasing companies are currently owned by companies funded by “U.S.-based public employee pensions, university endowments and other institutions whose shareholders are middle-class Americans.” That’s people like you and me. Not elites,  just ordinary folks.

Since airlines are struggling at this point and parking many of their planes, they are asking leasing companies to let them defer their payments, which in turn has created about a 95% loss (according to Yates) for the American leasing companies, who have no access to the loans in the CARES Act. That loophole in the system must be fixed asap.

China has been gobbling up leasing companies since 2006, going from zero to more than 40. Chinese leasing companies, all of which are closely tied to the CCP – Chinese Communist Party, manage 16% of American passenger airlines at this time.

With the coronavirus pandemic, and the companies owned by Americans in dire straits, China stands to snag the heart of the American airline industry. From poor trade agreements and years of currency manipulation, hacking, commerical espionage,  to a worldwide pandemic…China could also take over the US airline industry simply from a lack of funds.

Yates suggests this can be fixed by allowing leasing companies access to loans from the CARES Act that have to be repaid. Whatever the answer, contact your Reps and Senators and make sure that they understand that the CCP managing our airline industry would be a disaster of major proportions.

“Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Chinese coronavirus that got us all sick, caused thousands of deaths in America, wrecked our economy and, in turn, we rewarded them by turning over control of our aviation industry as well? Congress shouldn’t let that happen.” Stephen Yates

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children


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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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