Media Release – What’s Next in the Air Industry?: The Canadian Air Industry and the Case of Porter Airlines

Media Release, Transportation, Frontier Centre

Vancouver, 30 May, 2013: Today, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy issued The Canadian Air Industry and the Case of Porter Airlines, authored by Mary-Jane Bennett. The backgrounder analyses recent developments in the air industry in Canada. Specifically, the paper examines Porter Airlines’ expansion plans.

What’s next in the air industry?

There are big changes in the Canadian skies. Air Canada subsidiary, Rouge and WestJet subsidiary, Encore are set to launch this summer. Porter Airlines, having entered the market in 2006, announced an ambitious expansion last month.

Airlines around the globe are experiencing similar changes. The driver is the wide cost advantage the low-cost airlines maintains over the older, legacy carriers.

Each category is chasing the razor-thin profit margin of the airline industry. That quest has each adopting characteristics or markets of the other.  Low-cost carriers, like WestJet and Porter Airlines, are forging relationships around the world as they move into the legacy carrier’s domain of the international market. For their part, the legacy carriers, like Air Canada, have abandoned their perks of hot face towels and in-flight meals turning instead to the signature add-ons of the low-cost carriers, like checked luggage and seat reservation.   

As each of the categories change, they begin to look like each other. The next big question, claims global consultancy, KPMG is: what’s next?

For the airline passenger, price remains a key concern on short haul flights but convenience of schedules, airport location and service still count. Uncomfortable seats and insufficient leg room remain bigger concerns than price.

About the Author:

Mary-Jane Bennett is a lawyer, transportation consultant and Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. She began her career with the Ontario Ministry of Justice, and she has practised law in Manitoba and British Columbia. In 1997, she was appointed by the Governor-in-Council to the board of the newly formed Canadian Transportation Agency in Ottawa. She served on the board from January 1998 until May 2007.  She is author of Airport Policy in Canada and Grain Freight Regulation in Canada, published by the Frontier Centre. Her writings have appeared in publications such as the National Post, the Financial Post, the Vancouver Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press and IPolitics.

Download a copy of The Canadian Air Industry and the Case of Porter Airlines here.

For more information and to arrange an interview with the author, media (only) should contact:
Mary-Jane Bennett
Tel: (778)242-9495