World's Worst Airlines for Customer Service
Fares will fluctuate as demand picks up heading toward the busy summer season, but prices will remain low because the downward pressure from oil prices is so strong, said Patrick Surry, Hopper's chief data scientist. Surry said global prices could fall three to five per cent in 2016. He added that Canadian prices could dip more than those in the United States because American carriers have already been pushed by competition to pass along savings more quickly than in Canada. "The mitigating factor in Canada is the competitiveness of the market is not necessarily as strong as some other markets so it may take longer for those price drops to filter through because the airlines obviously don't need to pass on their fuel savings right away," Surry said in an interview. Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets said Canada's two largest airlines have been lowering fares. The RBC Fare Tracker points to WestJet Airlines fares falling about 9.5 per cent in the first quarter, with Air Canada (TSX:AC) fares decreasing 3.7 per cent. WestJet has lowered fares to stimulate demand and fill planes especially in Western Canada, its base which has faced an economic downturn. Discounting on Air Canada has largely been isolated to select transborder and domestic routes. Despite lower fares, IATA said a nearly 60 per cent increase in global airline profits in the fourth quarter pointed to a strong year in 2015, led by North American carriers.