Canadian airlines lauded moves by the B.C. government and the Vancouver Airport Authority yesterday to reduce taxes and fees on international flights. B.C. premier Gordon Campbell announced his plans this week to eliminate the 2¢ a litre provincial sales tax on aviation fuel for international and U.S.-bound flights. Alberta tooks similar steps in 2004. Meanwhile, the VAA introduced a new five-year plan to allow participating airlines to add capacity at the airport without incurring additional landing and terminal fees. The VAA said it expects the changes to create eight to 10 more daily international routes to the city’s airport, add 1.1 million more passengers annually, and contribute up to $150-million to the province’s GDP. Air Canada said the tax cut would save it about $2,000 on flights to Asia. Chris Murray, PI Financial Corp. analyst, said the move suggested that a carbon tax previously thought to be considered on aviation in B.C. is less likely to go ahead now.
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