In the matter of:

Expanded Cargo and Passenger

Flexibility at Puerto Rican International 




 Docket OST-2019-0085



I, Captain Ryan Schnitzler, this 12th day of September, 2019, declare under penalty of perjury:


  1. I am the Master Chairman of the Delta Master Executive Council (the MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). The MEC represents the 14,000 pilots who fly for Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Delta or the Company).


  1. The MEC stands with Delta in opposing the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s request for extraordinary blanket exemption authority to foreign air carriers.


  1. While the MEC may differ with the Company on certain joint venture proceedings related to international partner flying, on this issue we stand united with the Company and are committed to protect and grow opportunities for Delta-operated international flying, and associated job and career opportunities for Delta flight crews.


  1. Delta and its pilots recognize the strong growth opportunities presented by Puerto Rico. On August 30, 2019, the Company announced that it would add more than 3,000 weekly seats to Puerto Rico for the upcoming 2019/2020 Winter Season.[1] These flights include new widebody flying from Atlanta with A330 aircraft, as well as new seasonal service from Delta’s Detroit hub. Altogether, this represents more than a 50 percent increase in seat capacity between the mainland and San Juan by January 2020.


  1. Delta and its pilots are friends to Puerto Rico, assisting in the recovery effort following Hurricane Maria and flying multiple relief missions. The island is now moving toward full recovery, with visitor traffic at record levels, as evidenced by Delta’s massive increase in capacity this Winter Season.


  1. However, Delta and the MEC are compelled to disagree with the Commonwealth on this exemption application. Puerto Rico has failed to identify a single actual or potential foreign transfer operation that is currently prohibited under open skies, but would be enabled by this request. Further, Puerto Rico does not deny that its ultimate objective is to obtain cabotage relief for foreign air carriers.  Such a result would frustrate and deter future flying and additional capacity expansion by Delta.


  1. Extending an open invitation for foreign carriers to expand operations on U.S. soil, with the ultimate objective of obtaining cabotage relief for them to operate a quasi-hub at San Juan will not strengthen the competitive position of U.S. air carriers or encourage fair wages and working conditions.


  1. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.


/s/ Ryan Schnitzler

Capt. Ryan Schnitzler


[1] Delta, Delta Adds Winter Flying from U.S. Hubs to Top Caribbean Destinations (Aug. 30, 2019), available online at:–hubs-to-top-caribbean-destina.html.












August 28, 2019

Respectfully submitted,



Ryan Schnitzler,
Delta Master Executive Council


I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing was served by electronic mail this 28th day of August, 2019, on the following:

Air Carrier                            Name                                      Email Address

Alaska                                     David Heffernan           

Allegiant                                 Aaron Goerlich             

American                                Robert Wirick               

Amerijet                                  Joan Canny                   

Atlas                                        Russ Pommer                

Federal Express                      Ralph Carter                 

Federal Express                      Courtney Felts              

Frontier                                   Howard Diamond         

Hawaiian                                 Parker Erkmann            

JetBlue                                    Robert Land                  

                                                  Reese Davidson            

                                                  Evelyn Sahr                  

                                                  Drew Derco                  

Kalitta Air                               Mark Atwood               

National Airlines                    Malcolm Benge            

                                                  John Richardson           

Polar Air Cargo                      Kevin Montgomery      

Southwest                               Bob Kneisley                

                                                  Leslie Abbott                

Spirit Airlines                         David Kirstein              

                                                  Joanne Young                

Sun Country                            Brandon Carmack        

                                                  Victoria Palpant            

United                                     Dan Weiss                     

                                                  Steve Morrissey            

                                                  Abby Bried                   

                                                  Amna Arshad                

UPS                                         Dontai Smalls               


Department of

   Transportation                     Todd Homan                 

                                                  Peter Irvine                   

                                                  Brian Hedberg              

                                                  Robert Finamore           

                                                  Brett Kruger                  

Department of

   Justice                                  Kathleen O’Neill          

                                                  Caroline Laise               

Federal Aviation

   Administration                     John Duncan                 





                                                                                    /s Ryan Schnitzler                                          

                                                                                    Ryan Schnitzler