January 19, 2023 By The Canadian Press
SASKATOON — The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce is asking the federal competition regulator to investigate Air Canada’s decision to end its flights between Saskatoon and Calgary and between Regina and Calgary.
In a submission to the Competition Bureau, the business group says the decision by Air Canada leaves WestJet as the only airline offering direct service between Saskatchewan and Calgary.
The chamber alleges WestJet and Air Canada have engaged in anticompetitive behaviour through a strategy to reduce competition intensity on certain regional Canadian routes.
It says the routes from Saskatchewan are critical not just for travel to and from Calgary, but also for connecting flights from the key hub.
Air Canada says it rejects any allegations of anticompetitive conduct, noting that it continues to serve Saskatoon and Regina with daily flights to Vancouver and Toronto, and beginning on June 1 to Montreal.
WestJet also rejected the allegations and says it is committed to serving Saskatchewan.
The Competition Bureau confirmed that it received the chamber’s complaint, but said it is required to work confidentially and was unable to say if it would be investigating.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2023.