WestJet response to transportation act review

Today we responded to Transport Canada’s review of the Canada Transportation Act.

We recognize and appreciate the extensive consultation that has been undertaken by the federal government over the past year, and we are supportive of many measures announced today.

However, we firmly believe the largest challenge to ensuring low fares for Canadian consumers is the rising cost of aviation infrastructure. Canada is a much more expensive jurisdiction in which to operate than other jurisdictions. We are disappointed the government has not signaled more clearly a willingness to meaningfully review aviation taxation and cost structure.

With respect to specific policy announcements:

  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA): We strongly support the plans to fully examine CATSA service delivery and improve processing times to align with international standards. This is an exercise that can be undertaken quickly to affect meaningful change.  
  • Passenger rights: As an airline that prides itself on industry-leading guest service, we welcome the opportunity to work with the government as it develops further regulation, and clarifies carrier obligations. 
  • Foreign ownership: Our position has been that changes to foreign ownership should be done on a reciprocal and negotiated basis with other countries, versus a unilateral increase, which was announced today.

We look forward to participating fully in further regulatory and policy development activity as outlined in the minister’s speech. And we will continue to call on the government to aggressively tackle the issue of escalating cost in commercial aviation in Canada.