MONTREAL, May 16, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The federal minister of transport, the Hon. Marc Garneau, tabled a bill in the House of Commons today entitled the Transportation Modernization Act that proposes various measures and initiatives of direct consequence to Canada's air transportation sector.
With respect to the proposals to enhance airline consumer protections, Transat has taken due note of same and will work proactively with our industry partners, the federal government and the Canadian Transportation Agency to ensure that a fair and balanced framework is achieved in this regard. "We all share the common objectives of improving the travel experience for our customers while keeping system and industry costs under control", observed Transat A.T. President and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache. "As long as this remains the fundamental driving force for this regulatory initiative, I am confident that the final result will be positive for all".
Transat reiterates its support for the proposal in the bill to increase foreign ownership in Canadian airlines from 25% to 49% of voting shares. This not only opens new avenues for growth and venture financing, it will also allow for an expanded traffic rights regime under the Canada-EU air transport agreement that may translate into new and innovative transatlantic air services for consumers.
Finally, Transat takes note of, and cautiously welcomes, the proposal to provide the minister of transport with new oversight and authorization powers with respect to inter-airline agreements and joint ventures in the airline sector in order to ensure that they are consistent with the public interest.
For over a year, Transat has been warning the federal government of the growing market power of existing airline joint ventures operating in Canada and of the potential adverse effect on long-term viable competition in the sector that is essential to protect the public interest. These same joint ventures have been exempted from the normal application of competition laws in the US and the EU and are currently building dominant market-shares in well over a dozen of Canada's intercontinental air transport markets. "We are encouraged by the Government's willingness to subject these joint ventures to a structured oversight and approval process to ensure that they are not anti-competitive", stated Mr. Eustache. "However, to ensure that the public interest is truly served and protected, it is imperative that this scrutiny be applied to both future and existing joint ventures in the airline sector operating in Canada."
Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and active in air transportation, accommodation, travel packaging and distribution. It operates mainly in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, with 26 destination countries, and distributes products in over 50 countries. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 10 years, and was awarded Travelife Partner status in 2016. The vacation travel companion par excellence, Transat celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 (TSX: TRZ).
SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.
For further information: Media: Transat A.T. inc., Odette Trottier, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, [email protected], 514 908-8891