Air Canada adds capacity, caps prices on flights from fire-affected Yellowknife

Air Canada denied that it was hiking up prices from a wildfire-affected region
Eric Buermeyer /

Air Canada has responded to social media reports that it has increased prices from flights from wildfire-affected Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

In a statement released on August 17, 2023, Air Canada said that it had added two extra flights on that day, and added an extra Boeing 737 flight on August 18, 2023, “and we will continue evaluating opportunities for adjustments”.

“With respect to pricing, there have been postings in social media about fares being elevated. This is not correct as we proactively at the earliest possible time put in place a cap to limit fares for Air Canada’s direct flights out of Yellowknife,” Air Canada’s statement read.

According to the airline, the examples that social media users have pointed out were “aggregated fares by websites which are not in line with what we are offering on our non-stop flights from Yellowknife”.

“For example, some involve several stops and other carriers, with some trips lasting as much as 21 hours, when a normal non-stop Yellowknife-Calgary flight is two hours,” the airline continued, adding that it has continuously monitored its website to ensure that capped fares are displayed as intended. “Sometimes it requires taking steps to correct fares manually when they may not display as they should due to certain technical factors,” the carrier noted.

According to Air Canada, the flights for the next few days are “fairly full”, but the airline will continue to monitor the situation closely. However, no flights will be operated from Yellowknife Airport (YZF) on August 19, 2023, due to the governmental evacuation order.

Meanwhile, WestJet has also introduced a price cap on its flights from/to YZF “to ensure guests evacuating are able to do so affordably”.

Both airlines have also placed flexible change and cancelation guidelines for all passengers traveling to YZF.

The Government of Northwest Territories published its evacuation order on August 16, 2023, a day after the state of emergency was declared. Residents were advised to evacuate either by car or via air, with the government asking to register for evacuation flights, which began on August 17, 2023.

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