Commentary: The High Cost Of Canada's Not So Open Skies

Despite its sprawling distances, bustling economy, and enormous trade with the U.S., Canada has a hard time keeping its airlines in business. The country's two big carriers--Air Canada and Canadian Airlines Corp.--are in such bad shape that the government is pushing for an industry restructuring. That has triggered a noisy takeover battle that has more to do with the rivalry between two global airline alliances--one clustered around AMR Corp.'s American Airlines Inc. and the other around UAL Corp.'s United Air Lines--than about Canadian transportation. Sighs Peter S. Bleyer, executive director of the Council of Canadians, a public interest group: "We must be the subject of international ridicule."

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