Canada's Aviation Sector Welcomes Canadian Chamber Focus on Tourism

The Canadian Airports Council and National Airlines Council of Canada encouraged by priority on travel and tourism competitiveness

OTTAWA, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Airports Council and National Airlines Council of Canada today applauded the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's recognition of 'uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies' as one of the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2013.

In its Top Ten Barriers to Competitiveness, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce today notes that aviation enables all the other sectors of the tourism community.  High transportation costs, increasing fees, and added taxes on consumers and industry, have helped contribute to a drop in Canada's position among the world's tourism destinations from seventh place to 18th in just a decade. The Chamber also calls for the development of a new tourism competition strategy and renewed government support for marketing.

"Canada's aviation sector supports initiatives that encourage more travel by air to, from through and within Canada," said CAC president, Daniel-Robert Gooch. "Improving the aviation industry cost structure is part of this, and there are a host of additional areas in which changes to government policy can greatly improve industry competitiveness, such as improving visa access, resources for border services and renewed government support for marketing of Canada overseas in ways that do not add to the aviation cost burden."

"We applaud the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's initiative highlighting the heavy toll high aviation taxes and fees exact from the Canadian economy.  While the economic benefits of air transportation are significant and the sector supports over 400,000 Canadian jobs, the benefits could be much greater if appropriate policies were enacted. The present level of taxes, fees and charges is limiting the ability of Canadian air carriers to compete in global markets and constraining economic growth," said George Petsikas, President of the National Airlines Council of Canada.  

"Canada's large air carriers urge the government to adopt a new strategic aviation policy that reflects the realities of the industry today.  This new strategy must stop treating the aviation sector simply as a source of public revenue and recognize that it is an economic engine that can drive our economy, trade and tourism," added Petsikas.

About the Canadian Airports Council

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada's airports community and the Canadian unit of Airports Council International-North America.  Its 45 members represent more than 200 airports, including all of the National Airports System (NAS) airports and most significant municipal airports in every province and territory. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of the nation's air cargo and international passenger traffic and 95% of domestic passenger traffic.  They create in excess of $45 billion in economic activity in the communities they serve.  And more than 200,000 jobs are directly associated with CAC member airports, generating a payroll of more than $8 billion annually.

About the National Airlines Council of Canada

The National Airlines Council of Canada is a trade association founded by Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat and Jazz Aviation LP in order to ensure safe, sustainable and competitive air travel.

SOURCE: CANADIAN AIRPORTS COUNCIL

For further information:

Elias Rassi
Manager of Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Airports Council
(613) 560-9302 ext 15
elias.rassi@cacairports.ca

Marc-André O'Rourke
Director
National Airlines Council of Canada
(613) 231-7223
morourke@airlinecouncil.ca

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CANADIAN AIRPORTS COUNCIL

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