Anyone who’s boarded a plane in Canada knows it’s no frugal affair.
In fact, some reports suggest Canadian international air travel is the most expensive in the world.
The main reason for this is because there is essentially no competition in the market between airlines. If Air Canada says a flight costs X amount, that’s essentially what the price will be across the board. Sure, you’ll see offers for $100 flights to Europe every once in a while, but those are both rare and deceptive.
The good news is that the federal government is making an effort to offer cheaper flights and give travellers more choice.
Part of the strategy includes legislation that would allow foreigners to own up to 49 per cent of a Canadian airline, which is almost double the current 25 per cent cap. Inviting foreign owners to the Canadian airline market will hopefully spur competition and see low-cost carriers set up shop.
“This can bring down airfares and it can also provide more destinations and more choice for consumers,” said Transport Minister Marc Garneau about the initiative.
Several discount airlines, like Canada Jetlines and Enerjet, have been waiting for such a measure before they can get off the ground.
“Canada is the only G7 country that has not brought this airline model into its network,” said Canada Jetlines CEO Jim Scott, whose company is among those looking to put pressure on Air Canada and Westjet’s fares.
Another priority for the government will be reducing wait times at airport security and introducing an air passenger rights regime so Canadians will know when they’re eligible for compensation in cases of oversold flights or lost luggage.
All in all, it’s great news for all you frequent fliers out there.