Decision No. 330-P-A-2011

September 9, 2011

COMPLAINT by Jeremy Moray concerning a fare charged for carriage on Jazz Aviation LP, as represented by its general partner, Aviation General Partner Inc. carrying on business as Air Canada Jazz from Vancouver to Victoria, British Columbia.

File No.: 
M4120-3/11-03117

Introduction and Issues

On May 25, 2011, Jeremy Moray filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) alleging that a fare of $345.09 for carriage on Jazz Aviation LP, as represented by its general partner, Aviation General Partner Inc. carrying on business as Air Canada Jazz (Air Canada Jazz) from Vancouver to Victoria on April 30, 2011 was too high.

The issues to be addressed are whether, on April 30, 2011, Air Canada Jazz was the only person providing a domestic service on the Vancouver-Victoria route within the meaning of section 66 of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended (CTA) and, if so, whether the fare offered or published in respect of the service from Vancouver to Victoria, which is the subject of this complaint, was unreasonable.

For the reasons that follow, the Agency finds that on April 30, 2011, Air Canada Jazz was not the only person providing a domestic service on the Vancouver-Victoria route within the meaning of section 66 of the CTA. Consequently, the Agency does not have jurisdiction to determine whether the fare at issue was unreasonable, and dismisses the complaint.

Analysis and Findings

Section 66 of the CTA sets out the Agency’s jurisdiction over complaints concerning fares applied by air carriers for domestic services. Pursuant to subsection 66(1) of the CTA, the Agency may take certain remedial action following receipt of a complaint.

The Agency must first determine whether Air Canada Jazz is the only person providing a domestic service from Vancouver to Victoria.

Pursuant to subsection 66(4) of the CTA, the Agency’s jurisdiction over complaints concerning fares may be extended to domestic routes served by more than one licensee where the Agency is of the opinion that none of the other services between those two points provide a reasonable alternative “taking into consideration the number of stops, the number of seats offered, the frequency of service, the flight connections and the total travel time”.

In making its findings, the Agency has reviewed and considered the complaint as well as information available both publicly and within the Agency concerning air services provided from Vancouver to Victoria, including the Official Airline Guide, the Internet and published flight schedules.

Based on this information, the Agency is of the opinion that during the week of April 30, 2011, in addition to being served by Air Canada Jazz, the Vancouver-Victoria route was served by Pacific Coastal Airlines Limited (Pacific Coastal), Harbour Air Ltd. (Harbour Air) and Helijet International Inc. (Helijet).

From the information available to the Agency, Air Canada Jazz’s service from Vancouver to Victoria during the week of April 30, 2011 consisted of:

  • approximately 120 direct, non-stop flights;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 5,233 seats;
  • small or medium aircraft, as defined in the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88-58, as amended (ATR), utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Vancouver to Victoria of approximately 22 to 25 minutes.

Available information also indicates that Pacific Coastal’s service from Vancouver to Victoria during the week of April 30, 2011 consisted of:

  • approximately 31 direct, non-stop flights;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 691 seats;
  • small aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Vancouver to Victoria of approximately 25 minutes.

Available information also indicates that Harbour Air’s service from Vancouver to Victoria during the week of April 30, 2011 consisted of:

  • approximately 172 direct, non-stop flights;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 2,422 to 3,114 seats;
  • small aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Vancouver to Victoria of approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

Available information also indicates that Helijet’s service from Vancouver to Victoria during the week of April 30, 2011 consisted of:

  • approximately 90 direct, non-stop flights, and 5 one-stop flights;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 1,170 seats;
  • small aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Vancouver to Victoria of approximately 35 minutes.

The Agency has examined and analyzed the services provided by Air Canada Jazz, Pacific Coastal, Harbour Air and Helijet from Vancouver to Victoria during the week of April 30, 2011. Based on the factors set out in subsection 66(4) of the CTA, both individually and collectively, the Agency is of the opinion that, although the services provided by Pacific Coastal, Harbour Air and Helijet were not as extensive as Air Canada Jazz’s service, Pacific Coastal, Harbour Air and Helijet’s services provided travellers with an alternative.

The Agency therefore finds that Air Canada Jazz was not the only person providing a domestic service from Vancouver to Victoria on April 30, 2011 within the meaning of section 66 of the CTA.

Therefore, the Agency has no jurisdiction to consider the complaint.

CONCLUSION

Based on the above findings, the Agency dismisses the complaint.

Member(s)

Jean-Denis Pelletier, P.Eng.
J. Mark MacKeigan
Date modified: