Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Summerfield,
347 U.S. 74 (1954)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Summerfield, 347 U.S. 74 (1954)

Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Summerfield

Argued December 9-10, 1953

Decided February 1, 1954*

347 U.S. 74


Section 406(b) of the Civil Aeronautics Act, as amended, requires the Civil Aeronautics Board, in fixing mail-pay subsidy for air carriers, to

"take into consideration . . . the need of each such air carrier for compensation . . . sufficient . . . together with all other revenue of the air carrier, to enable such air carrier . . . to maintain and continue the development"

of a national air transportation system.

Held: in fixing the mail-pay subsidy for the foreign operations of the carrier here involved during a past period, the Board erred in refusing to offset against the carrier's need for foreign operations excess earnings during the same period on its domestic operations. Pp. 347 U. S. 75-80.

(a) An air mail subsidy may not exceed the carrier's "need," which is to be measured by the entirety of the carrier's operations, not by the losses of one division or department, even when a rate is fixed for a class of service, as authorized by § 406(b). Pp. 347 U. S. 78-79.

(b) Arguments of policy against this conclusion are for Congress, not the courts. Pp. 347 U. S. 79-80.

92 U.S.App.D.C. 256, 207 F.2d 207, affirmed.

The Civil Aeronautics Board issued an order fixing mail-pay subsidy for an air carrier. 14 C.A.B. 681. On the Postmaster General's petition for review, the Court of Appeals reversed. 92 U.S.App.D.C. 256, 207 F.2d 207. This Court granted certiorari. 346 U.S. 811. Affirmed, p. 347 U. S. 80.

Page 347 U. S. 75

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