Share your opinions on flying in Canada with the Competition Bureau – we want to hear from you!

Flair Airlines CEO bullish on future of discount airlines. Others aren't so sure

“In an effort to promote competition and potentially lower airfares in the Canadian domestic air travel industry, the federal Competition Bureau has announced plans to conduct a comprehensive study of the market. This decision comes as complaints from Canadians about high airfares continue to rise, particularly with only two major airlines, Westjet and Air Canada, dominating the industry. The bureau is seeking input from the public to better understand the challenges and opportunities in the sector before making recommendations to the government.

Public Participation in the Study

The Competition Bureau has invited Canadians to provide feedback on the upcoming study’s terms of reference, allowing them to contribute to shaping the scope and objectives of the research. Questions around supporting airline entry and expansion, as well as enhancing consumer accessibility to competitive airfares, are some of the key areas the bureau aims to address through this study. The deadline for public input is June 17, 2023, and the finalized terms of reference will guide the market study expected to be completed by summer 2025.

Airport Costs and Airfare Affordability

Industry players like Flair Airlines and Westjet have highlighted the high operational costs at Canadian airports as a significant factor contributing to the high airfares in the country. They emphasize that these costs are ultimately passed on to consumers, making air travel less accessible and affordable. Suggestions to reduce or eliminate airport fees and rents as a measure to address airfare affordability have been proposed by airline executives, urging the government to take action in supporting a competitive and accessible air travel market.

Regulatory Powers and Impact on Market Dynamics

The Competition Bureau’s upcoming market study will mark its first investigation since gaining new powers in December, enabling them to compel information from industry players for a more comprehensive assessment of the competitive landscape. With recent changes in the industry, including the disappearance of low-cost carriers like Swoop and Lynx Air, concerns have been raised about the potential impact on airfare affordability and market competition. The bureau’s study aims to shed light on these dynamics and provide recommendations for promoting a more competitive and consumer-friendly air travel industry.

In conclusion, the Competition Bureau’s initiative to investigate the Canadian domestic air travel market is a crucial step towards understanding the challenges facing consumers and industry players. By engaging with the public and industry stakeholders, the bureau can gather valuable insights to inform its recommendations to the government. As the study progresses, it will be essential to consider various perspectives and potential solutions to promote competition, innovation, and affordability in the Canadian air travel sector.”



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