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NP/FT say AC Gains on U.S. Crackdown


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2004-12-13 09:06 ET

The National Post reports in its Monday, Dec. 13, edition that ACE Aviation Holdings' Air Canada is seeing an upsurge in business as passengers opt to fly via Canada rather than brave the tighter visa and security regime facing transit passengers at United States airports. A Financial Times dispatch to the Post reports that Air Canada says a growing number of international passengers are choosing to travel via Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal rather than U.S. cities. Ben Smith, Air Canada's vice-president of planning, said the airline's traffic destined for Latin America originating outside Canada had tripled in the first 11 months of this year, compared with January to November, 2003. Passengers flying between Brazil and Japan made up a sizeable part of the extra traffic. U.S. visa restrictions and airport congestion have "certainly been a positive for us," he added. "Because of 9/11, we have got this extra traffic which we weren't originally counting on." The Air Transport Association in Washington acknowledged that "several of our carriers have been impacted" by the new visa rules.

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