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Delta Air Lines Faces Legal Charges for Trophy Transport Ban

Atlanta, GA-based airline behemoth Delta Air Lines, Inc.DAL is at the center of controversy pertaining to its decision earlier in the year to ban transportation of big game hunting trophies.

According to various media reports, a hunter (Corey Knowlton), who shelled out $350,000 for a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia, and various U.S.-based hunting clubs, have sued the carrier for its decision. In a lawsuit filed in a Dallas federal court, the parties alleged that Delta's ban is illegal and hurts well-meaning hunters. According to a Reuters report, they have argued that the ban "hurts conservation efforts and violates its global obligations". The report further states that the aggrieved parties are adamant that the "transport of the trophies is permitted under a strict systems of global permits and the carrier must abide by its obligations".

Moreover, since Delta is the sole American carrier operating direct flights between Johannesburg and destinations in the U.S., its decision to ban transportation of trophies of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and buffalos as cargo on its planes is a big setback to hunters' efforts to bring the trophies home.

Not keen to budge from its decision, Delta naturally turned down Knowlton's request to transport the trophy to the U.S. from Africa. This led the hunter and the other associated parties to take recourse to legal action against Delta and challenge the ban in court.

We remind investors that Delta enforced the ban in August this year, following the furor surrounding the killing of the lion, Cecil, at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park by a Minnesota-based dentist, Walter Palmer. The dentist was on a vacation in Zimbabwe and, according to a report appearing in Fortune, had paid a fee of $50,000 for the trophy hunting. According to a Reuters report, American Airlines Group AAL and United Continental Holdings UAL had also imposed bans similar to Delta in August.

Zacks Rank

Delta carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors interested in the airline space may also consider Ryanair Holdings RYAAY which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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