Decision No. 779-P-A-2000

December 13, 2000

December 13, 2000

IN THE MATTER OF a complaint filed by Neil Stephan Tryansky concerning the fares offered by Air Canada and Royal Aviation Inc. carrying on business as Royal and/or Conifair and/or Royal Cargo and/or Royal Canada on the Montréal-Toronto route.

File No. M4370/A74/00-217


COMPLAINT

On August 8, 2000, Neil Stephan Tryansky (hereinafter the complainant) filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency (hereinafter the Agency) the complaint set out in the title.

The complainant submits that the fare of $769.00 charged by Air Canada to travel by air from Montréal to Toronto is "ridiculous" and that the fares offered by Canadian Airlines International Ltd. carrying on business under the firm name and style of Canadian Airlines International or Canadi*n Airlines or Canadi*n and Air Canada were "half or less than half of $769.00" before the merger of the two air carriers. He further submits that "fares were one-quarter or less than $769.00 when a frequent traveller purchased "back-to-back" tickets", which, he states, is not possible with the "new monopoly".

The complainant also submits that, only a year ago and before the monopoly, the return fare offered by Royal was $200.00 on this route, but at the time of his complaint, Royal's fare had risen to $300.00.

ISSUES

The issues to be addressed are:

  1. whether either Air Canada and its affiliates (hereinafter Air Canada), or Royal Aviation Inc. carrying on business as Royal and/or Conifair and/or Royal Cargo and/or Royal Canada (hereinafter Royal) was the only person providing a domestic service between Montréal and Toronto within the meaning of section 66 of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10 (hereinafter the CTA) on August 8, 2000; and, if so,
  2. whether the fares offered or published by either Air Canada or Royal in respect of their service between Montréal and Toronto which are the subject of the complaint were unreasonable.

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 where the Agency finds that:

  1. the air carrier who published or offered the fare which is the subject of the complaint is a licensee, including affiliated licensees, who is "the only person providing a domestic service between two points"; and
  2. the fare offered or published by the licensee in respect of the service is unreasonable.

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 provides 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 carefully reviewed and considered the complaint as well as information available both publicly and within the Agency concerning air services provided between Montréal and Toronto, 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 August 8, 2000, the Montréal-Toronto route was served by Air Canada, Royal, Air Transat A.T. Inc. carrying on business as Air Transat (hereinafter Air Transat) and Canada 3000 Airlines Limited (hereinafter Canada 3000).

From the information available to the Agency, Air Canada's service between Montréal and Toronto during the week of August 8, 2000 consisted of:

  • in excess of 160 direct, non-stop flights per week;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 25,000 seats;
  • large aircraft, as defined in the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88-58, as amended (hereinafter the ATR), used on nearly all of the flights; and
  • a total travel time from Montréal to Toronto of between one and one-quarter and one and one-half hours.

Available information also indicates that Royal's service between Montréal and Toronto during the week of August 8, 2000 consisted of:

  • twenty direct, non-stop flights per week;
  • service every day of the week;
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 3,500 seats;
  • large aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Montréal to Toronto of between one and one and one-quarter hours.

Available information indicates that Air Transat's service between Montréal and Toronto during the week of August 8, 2000 consisted of:

  • nine direct, non-stop flights per week;
  • service available six days a week (there was no Saturday service);
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 2,500 seats;
  • large aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Montréal to Toronto of approximately one and one-quarter hours.

Available information indicates that Canada 3000's service between Montréal and Toronto during the week of August 8, 2000 consisted of:

  • seven direct, non-stop flights per week;
  • service available six days a week (there was no Saturday service);
  • a total weekly capacity of approximately 1,300 seats;
  • large aircraft, as defined in the ATR, utilized on all flights; and
  • a total travel time from Montréal to Toronto of approximately one to one and one-quarter hours.

The Agency has carefully examined and analyzed the services provided by all the carriers between Montréal and Toronto during the week of August 8, 2000 and, on the basis of the factors set out in subsection 66(4) of the CTA, both individually and collectively, is of the opinion that:

  1. Royal's service was not as comprehensive as Air Canada's service. However, each carrier's service provided travellers with an alternative to the other carrier's service which was not unreasonable; and
  2. The services offered by Air Transat and Canada 3000 were not as extensive as those provided by either Air Canada or Royal. However, both of these services provided travellers with alternative services to those offered by Air Canada and Royal which were not unreasonable.

The Agency has therefore determined that neither Air Canada nor Royal was the only person providing a domestic service between Montréal and Toronto within the meaning of section 66 of the CTA on August 8, 2000.

Accordingly, the complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of section 66 of the CTA.

CONCLUSION

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

However, pursuant to section 85.1 of the CTA, the Agency's Air Travel Complaints Commissioner (hereinafter the ATCC) has the jurisdiction to review and attempt to resolve complaints for which no other remedy exists and which have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. Accordingly, the complaint has been forwarded to the office of the ATCC.

Date modified: