New York's top two elected officials have a pitch for Delta Air Lines: Move your corporate headquarters to the Empire State.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted the invitation Monday and Gov. Andrew Cuomo followed with a statement Tuesday afternoon. They are urging Delta to move its corporate headquarters from Georgia after that state's lieutenant governor, Casey Cagle, said he would "kill any tax legislation" that benefits the airline unless it reinstates its contract with the National Rifle Association.
Delta announced over the weekend that it would no longer provide discounted rates for travel to the NRA's annual meeting.
Cagle's comments come as Georgia state lawmakers are considering a bill that would eliminate a tax on jet fuel. Delta, which is based in Atlanta, would benefit from the legislation.
After Cagle's tweet Monday, Hochul — who said she is one of the Delta's "most frequent flyers" — tweeted her suggestion that the airline move its headquarters to New York "where you're appreciated."
Cuomo echoed that sentiment Tuesday.
"Now more than ever the NRA is showing just how out of step they are with the American people," he said. "Delta is sending a clear signal that it opposes the NRA's dangerous agenda, which is putting our children and our families at risk. While Georgia politicians may disagree with the airline's principled stand, we here in the Empire State welcome Delta with open arms, and invite them to move their headquarters here."
Other municipalities have invited Delta to relocate its headquarters. Randall Woodfin, mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, said the airline was welcome in his city. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also attempted to woo Delta.
It doesn't appear likely that Delta will move its headquarters. It is located near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world.
But if Delta decides to move, New York could be a contender. Two of the airline's existing hubs are in New York: John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, both in Queens.
New York has another advantage, according to Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky. It is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other state.
"New York state is committed to pursuing all investment and economic development opportunities that would create jobs and strengthen the economy," Zemsky said. "Our door is open."