This article shows that Halifax is being hammered by high airfares which should be great news for westjet.Business travel from Halifax too pricey, chamber says
Business travellers are paying more to fly on Halifax routes where there's no competition, says the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce's task force on air access.
"The task force found that, in spite of Halifax's status as an air hub, the cost of flying on Halifax routes was significantly more expensive than others," Jeff Somerville, the chamber's incoming president, said in a release Thursday.
The task force found that a business fare for a Moncton-Toronto Air Canada flight, a route where there's competition from WestJet, costs 54 cents per nautical kilometre, while for the much more heavily travelled Halifax-Toronto route without competition, the cost was $1.03 per nautical kilometre.
"Competition must be encouraged," Mr. Somerville said.
The task force, chaired by Steve Parker of the CCL Group, was struck in early September following a series of developments that suggested Halifax was suffering from declining air access. Halifax had lost its direct Air Canada service to Washington and Newark (since reinstated) and Icelandair's service to Keflavik.
The task force's plan was to determine how the community could improve its access to new carriers and routes.
The full report, available at www.halifaxchamber.com, was prepared following review of data on traffic patterns from Halifax, fares and other information and consultation with industry and community stakeholders. Since the report was finalized, the chamber has been meeting with industry and government stakeholders to report its findings and next steps.
The chamber says the report marks the launch of several strategic community-based and legislative initiatives to improve the Halifax market's access to air travel, as defined by flight frequency, connectivity and competitive pricing.
"Most significantly, the chamber will push for a new style of national air policy that encourages new carriers in the market and responds more effectively to anti-competitive behaviour, such as predatory pricing," Mr. Somerville said.
The task force also recommends:
- implementing a new style of national air policy focused on consumers rather than providers;
- improving the national air policy on anti-competitive behaviour to make it more effective, timely and efficient;
- and equalizing the market by allowing competitive access by regional carriers to national carriers