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A plane flies over North America [Photo: ©Vladislav Bezrukov, under Creative Commons license]

Canada’s flight prices are soaring compared to the rest of the world, according to a new study.

Czech flight services website Kiwi.com measured domestic and international prices for 175 of the world’s most popular travel destinations.

How did Canada measure up?


There are many reasons to explain why the price of an international ticket from Canada is more expensive than the rest of the world.

One, according to the Montreal Economic Institute, are the taxes put on each ticket.

What is the average Canadian paying for when they are booking a flight?

Airport Improvement Fees (AIF’s)

This three to 40 dollar tax is used to improve services and maintain 61 Canadian airports.

The value of the tax is left up to the individual airport.

These fees are not unique to Canadian airports; some foreign airports also choose to charge a small fee.

Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC)

In the aftermath of 911, Parliament enacted a bill that allows airlines to include a security charge of 25.91 CAD on all tickets for flights departing Canada.

The year after the fee was introduced, the government collected 830 million CAD – twice the annual operating budget of the Canadian Air Transport Security, the body in charge of maintaining security at national airports.

Other costs

Several unpredictable costs include taxes imposed by foreign governments mainly to address operating costs of security and customs.

Also tacked on to your ticket price are carrier surcharges collected by individual airlines to pay for fuel and extra services during peak season.

Air Canada vs. Westjet 

Canada’s two major international airlines are Air Canada and Westjet, who share the entire market for international travel.

Volatile taxes imposed by these airlines sometimes dramatically changes the price between both carriers for the same flight.

The map below shows the differences between these two major airlines’ prices, tax included, for a standard, economy round trip departing on July 14, 2017 and returning July 21.

Kiwi.com also ranked countries based on prices for domestic flights.

These are the ten most expensive and inexpensive countries to fly.

Canada ranked eighth with the average flight cost of $8.47 USD per 100 kilometers.

While international prices take off, domestic flights are plummeting.

One possible reason for the recent decline in prices, according to Statistics-Canada, is the lower price of oil on the international market.

They note, however, that the prices in the above graph do not include taxes like airport services fees.

What now? 

Experts in the field are fighting for increased competition in the airline industry.

More airlines, they argue, will encourage lower prices for passengers.

Introduced in September, New Leaf Airlines hopes to compete with Air Canada and Westjet by offering flights to small-town, Canada-centric destinations.

But for now, you’re going to have to dig really deep into your wallet to leave the Great White North.

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