The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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A concerted strategy to drive the city’s economy and its direct international flights

Montréal, October 21, 2014 – As part of consultations conducted by the Ville de Montréal about increasing direct international flights, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal emphasizes the importance of mobilizing regional economic players around a concerted strategy to support the efforts of Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) to convince carriers to establish new direct flights.  

“We are pleased that the Ville de Montréal is conducting these consultations, because this is an issue the Board of Trade has been involved with for a number of years,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The quality of air service in our city is an indicator of economic vitality and one of the most important issues for the business community, both for tourism and the internationalization of businesses trying to reach new markets.”

“Montréal is fortunate enough to have quality service, in particular because of the ADM’s efforts,” Michel Leblanc said. “We are very well positioned to be the gateway between North America and Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We have to leverage this asset to take advantage of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union coming into force by strengthening this positioning and our competitiveness. We would also like direct flights to areas of Asia and South America, two important markets for the growth of local businesses.”

“The introduction of a new direct flight is a business decision for carriers, and profit margins in air transport are only around 1%,” Michel Leblanc said. “In spite of the ADM’s incentives and the entry into service of Dreamliners, the financial risk remains high. Players in the city must mobilize and develop a concerted strategy to support the ADM’s efforts, increase the airport’s competitiveness and improve access between the airport and downtown.”

In short, the Board of Trade’s recommendations to the Ville de Montréal are:

  1. Reduce the ADM’s municipal tax burden.
  2. Convince the federal government to substantially reduce the fees it charges airports and air carriers.
  3. Put in place a permanent mechanism, supported by the Ville de Montréal, to reduce the initial financial risk of new direct flights.
  4. Create a committee with stakeholders whose mandate is to develop a strategy to support the ADM’s efforts.
  5. Promote Montréal-Trudeau Airport to make it a tourism and cultural showcase for Montréal.
  6. Improve the connection between Montréal-Trudeau Airport and downtown to facilitate access for travellers.

The Board of Trade’s brief can be consulted by clicking here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.

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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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