Gregg Saretsky, the WestJet CEO, recently said that they were working closely with the government and needed to be very careful otherwise, they would kill an industry which is very important to the economic growth of the country. He said that it needed to pass the test of reasonableness.
Last week Catherine McKenna, the federal Environment Minister, said that the country was going to have a national price for carbon emissions by the end of this year. Also, the carbon tax in Alberta is all set to begin from 1st January 2017. This will impose 5.1% per liter taxes on the purchase of jet fuel for flights which originate and terminate in the province itself.
British Columbia, where there’s already a carbon tax in place already imposes 7.83% per liter levies on all jet fuel purchases for every intraprovincial flight.
Saretsky also said that the airlines operate with thin margins and are already feeling hampered by fees and taxes which they can’t control. Even though he said a national approach was going to be much better, he also said that governments had to be careful.
He said WestJet takes environmental responsibilities seriously and are doing whatever they can for reducing emissions through investing in a fuel-efficient fleet. But currently, planes do need fuel for flying, and this isn’t going to change in the near future.
Saretsky also expressed his concerns about reports being looked at by the federal government which called on Ottawa to raise the limits on foreign ownership when it comes to commercial airlines from 25 to 49%.
This recommendation which was a part of the sweeping review of the transportation policy in Canada was intended to increase the competition in aviation, but Saretsky feels it is going to have some unintended consequences. He said that American carriers would then be considering buying a stake in WestJet to use them for feeding their networks.