No, they don't receive subsidies from the government, they're not crown corporations, and they don't have a monopoly. AIrlines are a private service which are operated to serve their shareholders and turn a profit. VIA is public transit just like the GO Train, the TTC, YRT, MiWay, etc. Unlike private services, public services have a mandate to operate their assets in a way that benefits all Canadians (reducing congestion, reducing GHGs, etc.). If VIA isn't doing everything it can to fulfill this mandate with its corridor services, then what is the point of Canadians giving an incremental $160ish million dollars a year in subsidies towards corridor services when we're already indirectly subsidizing busses and cars which provide a similar service (transportation).Is an airline a “public service?” One pays good money for seat selection on most air carriers.
Pricing is a matter of what the market will bear. VIA is no different, although I hope they don’t aspire to airline style pricing.