Date: January 14, 2021 06:29PM
Money, pretty much we can always follow the money when the Church is one of the players.
Here's what's going on right now with the church and Delta airlines, along with the church and rich members with private planes: (I can't say under Penalty of Perjury that I know I'm correct, but I'd bet $10 that I am, which if you know me, is pretty much the same thing as swearing under P of P.)
In re Delta: The church and Delta made some kind of a deal. It's easy to suspect that some mormon Delta exec went the extra mile for the church in arranging the deal, but the deal was made. The church gets 'church rates' for all the tickets it buys, which includes the missionaries and the GAs. And they can lease Delta jets, again, for at a lower rate than you, I or Ford Motors, because that was part of the deal. Jesus flies Delta.
In re Private Plane owners: Rich mormons love to hobnob with the GAs. I don't know who started it, but it quickly became known that GAs would snuggle up to you, a rich guy, if you'd loan them your Lear Jet, your Cessna, your Dassault, etc. You'd even get to play golf with them!
So GA's get to fly for free, and the plane owner gets to write off the expenses of the trip, as a charitable donation. Yes, they could exaggerate the length of the trip and the actual expenses, but at heart, who really wants to pay less in taxes? Not me!
Now I'm wondering if there are retired airline pilots who think that at 65, they've still got what it takes? They could volunteer their services for a GA who gets loaned a plane but not a pilot... Again, there are a verifiable number of individuals who will do anything to be snuggle-buddies with a GA.
Compare the above with buying and maintaining a small fleet of planes. Sure, maybe some members wouldn't mind be the janitorial staff for these planes, but mechanics and pilots, probably not so much. And the tax write-offs derived? When you don't pay taxes, there are no write-offs! It's ALL charity work.
Again, I'm basing these speculations on a tiny bit of knowledge and a huge amount of masterful speculation. If anyone has any info to contribute, I'd be happy to absorb it.