Air Transport World

Canadians ponder deregulation at Vancouver ATAC meeting.

Canadians ponder deregulation at Vancouver ATAC meeting

The prevailing mood during the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC), Oct. 27-30, might best be described as cautiously optimistic. The Canadian air transport industry registered a modest C$60.5 million (U.S.$44.2 million) net income during 1984 on gross revenues of C$4.9 billion (U.S.$3.6 billion), an improvement over the C$13.4 million (U.S.$9.8 million) loss in 1983.

However, Angus Morrison, retiring as president of ATAC after 34 years of service, indicated that real profitability remains elusive. The 1984 profits came mainly from the disposal of aircraft, not from passenger ticket sales. With only a one percent return on revenues, the Canadian air transport industry is not particularly robust, and revenue hours flown, although up from 1983, are still well below the peak registered in 1981.

Philosophy on deregulation

Nevertheless, the 1985 through 1986 period is viewed by many air transport experts as particularly significant for the whole industry because of extensive transport policy changes initiated by the Progressive Conservative government. It is clear that Canada will become the second country after the United States to launch widespread deregulation of the transportation industry.

In July this year Transport Canada released a policy position paper entitled Freedom To Move, which outlined the government's philosophy on deregulation. …

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