Canada: Increase competitiveness, IATA says
Giovanni Bisignani, CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), recently called on Canada to adjust its tax structure in order to remain more competitive in the global marketplace. He said the country's policies make it more costly for people to visit Canada, noting that a trip to the country is $160 more expensive than a visit to the U.S.
“Air transport is key to Canada’s economy. Canada is a great place to visit and to do business, but the country is losing its competitive edge," Bisignani said in a statement. "Canada needs a comprehensive strategy to keep it competitive in the world market."
According to the World Economic Forum, Canada ranks 106 in terms of cost competitiveness. In addition to monetary reasons, Bisignani pointed to strict government regulation as something that is holding Canada's airline industry — much like the industries in other nations — back from achieving greater prominence.
“Airlines need the freedom to consolidate wherever it makes business sense. Airlines that facilitate globalization are stunted national businesses because of government protection. The industry is structurally sick, and traditional leaders like Canada will be challenged to improve competitiveness with change and innovation," he said. "The challenge for Canada and governments around the world is to improve competitiveness on a level playing field that allows airlines to compete profitably like any other business."
The future climate will also bring a challenge for Canada. IATA has predicted that the industry will earn a profit of $9.1 billion in the coming year, a far cry from the $15.1 billion seen in 2010.