Government ignores advice of its own Competition Bureau in Air Canada takeover of Transat
CALGARY, AB, Feb. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The government of Canada on Thursday evening approved the purchase of Transat by Air Canada, without significant remedies.
"This decision shows blatant disregard for all Canadians who believe in healthy competition," said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. "When Canadians look to explore the world and reunite with family and friends once again, they will face fewer choices and higher fares."
The government's own Competition Bureau stated in regards to the proposed purchase, "Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap."
"It is hard to imagine a deal as anti-competitive in any industry where the number one player buys number three without meaningful remedies," continued Mr. Sims. "This is a serious setback to Canada's economy. The Competition Bureau themselves described such cosmetic remedies as inadequate. Canadians should be profoundly disappointed."
Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.
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