Air Canada CEO hopes Trump’s vow to cut taxes will spur similar change here

Air Canada CEO hopeful tax cuts coming

MONTREAL — The CEO of Air Canada said he hopes President Donald Trump’s promise Thursday to U.S. airline executives to cut taxes will spur similar action on this side of the border.

Calin Rovinescu said such a move might prompt Canada to cut various fees, charges and taxes that represent about 43 per cent of the average ticket price.

“We certainly hope that as other countries become more competitive, Canada will do likewise,” he said in Montreal after the airline, Canada’s largest, unveiled a new look for its planes and uniforms for its employees.

Trump promised airline executives at the White House that he would lower their corporate tax burden and roll back regulations. He also said he supports privatizing America’s air traffic control system.

Air Canada (TSX:AC) has long complained about the costs of flying in Canada that it says has prompted millions of passengers annually to catch flights from nearby American airports.

A proposal under review by the federal government to privatize Canadian airports would end up costing passengers more, Rovinescu said, adding that he believes new owners would raise fees to earn a rate of return. Critics, however, say airport privatization may actually bring down those fees as it would encourage greater competition.

A spokesman for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the government wants to make the most of growing air travel, tourism and business opportunities between Canada and the rest of the world.

“We will achieve this by supporting greater choice, better service, lower costs, and new rights for middle-class Canadian travellers,” Marc Roy said in an email.

Rovinescu also said he thinks Canada could ultimately benefit if a ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries is reinstated by U.S. courts.

“Canada becomes a destination that is very welcoming both in terms of tourists and immigrants, so we will see, I would think, some potential benefits flowing back to Canada from that.”

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky expressed a similar view earlier this week, saying uncertainty surrounding new U.S. border policies could present a silver lining by increasing foreign tourist interest in Canada.

Rovinescu said a “small number of passengers” were displaced when Trump signed an executive order implementing the travel ban, but later reached their destinations after it was lifted.

“We’re certainly hopeful we’re not going to have further operational issues.”

The ban on travel prompted a large decline in international travellers searching online for flights to the U.S., especially from people in the banned countries, said Patrick Surry of Hopper, a mobile application that uses data to predict and analyze airfares.

Global searches for U.S. flights dropped 17 per cent in the week following the ban and 33 per cent from Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Sudan, compared to the final three weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency. No data was available for Yemen.

Canadian searches to the U.S. were down about four per cent, said Surry.

 

Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Rockets raise funds for Canucks Autism Network

Along with Craft Beer Market the Rockets Alumni Association will raise money for the network

Vandalism of fish incubators blow to well-known Lake Country family

Gary Kozub pioneered the kokanee incubator project and his family has been stewards of the salmon

Powder report: Rain in valley, snow on the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

Grade reconfiguration coming to Okanagan Mission schools

Grade 6-8 students will be enrolled in new middle school

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm unease about federal deficits: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy

CIBC shrinks event after Whistler mayor irks oil producers

After Whistler sent a letter to a Calgary-based oilsands giant, several energy firms said they would back out of the CIBC event.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Trial rights of accused spy for China at risk, lawyer tells Supreme Court

The lawyer for a man accused of trying to spy for China says federal foot-dragging over secrecy is endangering his client’s right to timely justice.

‘Recall fatigue’: Canadians may avoid certain foods over holidays

In the winter, Canada’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables tends to come from very specific areas.

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Interior Health offers new info tool for pregnant women

Moms-to-be with uncomplicated pregnancies can access tips by text or online

Most Read