In the news here yesterday, they say that the Canadian and U.S. Governments are in talks to set up an "open skies" policy.... allowing each countries carries to fly domestic routes within each others borders, as well as easier and more frequent (presumably) cross border routing.
I'm not sure how that will eventually affect the financial well being of the airlines in the long run. Airfares in Canada are significantly higher in Canada, and choices of airlines here more limited.. and those that do exist, even with higher prices, are not all that financially healthy.
One thing I heard, that I found interesting, is that Air Canada's frequent flyer program, was one of the companies more profitable divisions.
Alliances with credit card companies which earn frequent flyer miles seem to more popular up here than in the U.S., especially with consumers.
If this program is so popular, and profitable for the airlines, I presume the credit card companies are paying a pretty fair dollar value, when consumers redeem their "points" for flights.