June 23rd, 2024

Airline prices, concentration key concerns driving Competition Bureau scrutiny

By The Canadian Press on May 27, 2024.

The Competition Bureau says market concentration, prices and a rising tally of customer complaints are fuelling its study into Canada's airline industry. An Air Canada plane taxis towards the gate in poor weather conditions at Halifax Airport, on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

GATINEAU, Que. – The Competition Bureau says market concentration, prices and a rising tally of customer complaints are fuelling its study into Canada’s airline industry.

The regulator says two carriers continue to dominate the skies while new airlines seem to struggle to enter the market.

The bureau also says domestic fares appear relatively high and that more and more passengers are filing complaints.

The regular says its market study, which will draw on feedback from the public and interested parties, will pave the way for recommendations to government that would improve competition and make it easier for consumers to make informed choices.

The market study announced May 9 is the bureau’s first since it gained new powers in December that include the ability to compel information from companies.

Over the past 13 months, newer low-cost carriers Swoop and Lynx Air have disappeared from the skies and WestJet scooped up Sunwing Airlines, with the latter two making up 72 per cent of seat capacity from Western Canada last year, according to the bureau.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2024.

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