Five million Canadians cross the border each year to fly from U.S. airports and save hundreds of dollars on the cost of a single vacation.
Travelling from a Canadian airport costs more in several ways, especially when you add up airport fees and taxes.
The U.S. sees air transportation as critical to economic growth, and subsidizes the cost.
The Canadian government, on the other hand, appears to view air travel as a source of revenue.
In addition to almost a billion dollars that Canadian air travellers pay out each year in fees and taxes, we also pay for airport security, fuel surcharges, and air traffic control.
The basic fare is also higher for a number of other reasons.
Higher wages and lower productivity in Canada are part of the story.
Ottawa closely regulates the airline industry and limits service into many Canadian cities.
Allowing more carriers to compete would go a long way in reducing the cost, and it would also generate economic growth.
Studies show that when airlines are not allowed regular access to a community, it can cost the local economy hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
More of a customer service approach is urgently needed.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on transportation policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.