04/17/2013 07:39 EDT | Updated 06/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Foreign Airlines In Canada: Consumers' Association Says It's Time For More Competition

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A British Airways (BA) aircraft, right, passes the tailfins of other parked BA aircraft at Heathrow Airport in London, U.K., on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) pledged to push through a plan to shrink Spanish division Iberia by 15 percent and deliver a profit rebound this year following a group-wide loss in 2012. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

OTTAWA - The Consumers' Association of Canada is calling for the federal government to allow more competition from foreign airlines.

The group says Canada's current policy protects the dominant domestic airlines and limits consumer choice.

Association president Bruce Cran says it will use recent polling data to support its call for change in Canada's aviation industry.

The telephone survey of about 1,000 people in late January and early February found a large majority of responses were in favour of more foreign competition.

Among other things, the Harris/Decima survey found 61 per cent of respondents agreed that foreign airlines should be allowed to compete with Canadian carriers.

The survey also found 77 per cent agreed that foreign airlines would give consumers more travel options and 69 per cent agreed they'd lead to lower costs.

"Consumers want choice and competition for their travel dollar," Cran said in a statement Wednesday.

"The CAC will use this public opinion data to renew our call for Canada to adopt a dramatically different approach to international aviation," he added.

"It is time to open Canada's skies and welcome foreign carriers into this market to compete for the business of Canadian travellers."

The survey of 1,015 people in Canada was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.

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