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Air Canada CEO says airport fees, other restrictions hinder ability to compete

Last Updated May 25, 2016 at 2:58 pm PDT

File Photo. (iStock Photo)

CALGARY – Air Canada’s CEO says onerous restrictions and costs are hindering the airline’s ability to expand and compete internationally.

Calin Rovinescu says Canada’s airport fees are too high and legacy legislation from when the company was government-owned means it’s operating on an uneven playing field.

Speaking at a Calgary Chamber event today, Rovinescu said he hoped Bill C-10 will come into force soon so the company will have fewer restrictions on where it conducts airline maintenance.

He said Canada’s airport fees and visa requirements for stopover passengers make it harder to create international transit hubs in the country.

Last year, the company paid $802 million in airport and navigation fees.

Air Canada says it’s focused on foreign expansion to fuel growth, with about 90 per cent of its capacity increase to come from international markets this year.