Westjet, the Calgary based airline, is sending a dire warning to the federal government about the financial cost of a carbon tax on Canadian airlines.
Westjet CEO Gregg Saretsky was at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region conference in Calgary when he said:
“We’re obviously working closely with government — they need to be very careful that they don’t kill an industry that is so important to economic growth.”
Saretsky went on to admit his company’s slim margins. He said Westjet makes $14 profit per passenger and any added tax could take a chunk out of that.
Westjet is already seeing a fuel hike from the carbon tax within Alberta, for flights that start and end here.
Starting in January the carbon tax on jet fuel will be 5.1 cents per liter jumping to 7.75 cents per liter in 2018.
This means already struggling Alberta companies are going to be paying more for their interprovincial business flights.
Worse still, a national carbon tax will act to discourage any low cost American carriers who might consider entering the Canadian market.
Canadian airlines will pass as much of their increased costs onto their customers, making airline travel even more expensive.
And competition will never come to save Canadian travellers from these high prices.
I guess it doesn’t really matter to Liberals like Justin Trudeau. I doubt he’s ever flown economy class anywhere or worried about the cost of a flight.