OTTAWA — Canada’s airline industry should be opened up to allow more competition from foreign airlines, a consumer group said Wednesday.[np_storybar title=”Why Canadian airports are so expensive and inefficient” link=””%5DGovernment taxes and fees have long carried the blame for the noncompetitive nature of Canadian airports and for the bleed of nearly 5 million passengers a year in search of cheaper flights south of the border. But not everyone agrees taxes and fees are the primary source of what ails the air travel industry in Canada.Continue reading.[/np_storybar]The Consumers’ Association of Canada says Canada’s current policy protects the dominant domestic airlines and limits consumer choice.Association president Bruce Cran says it will use recent polling data to support its call for the federal government to bring about change in Canada’s aviation industry.The telephone survey of about 1,000 people in late January and early February found a large majority of responses were in favour of more foreign competition.Consumers want choice and competition for their travel dollarAmong other things, the Harris/Decima survey found 61% of respondents agreed that foreign airlines should be allowed to compete with Canadian carriers.The survey also found 77% agreed that foreign airlines would give consumers more travel options and 69% agreed they’d lead to lower costs.“Consumers want choice and competition for their travel dollar,” Cran said in a statement Wednesday.“The CAC will use this public opinion data to renew our call for Canada to adopt a dramatically different approach to international aviation,” he added.“It is time to open Canada’s skies and welcome foreign carriers into this market to compete for the business of Canadian travellers.”The survey of 1,015 people in Canada was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.Canadian Press

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