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WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech in June, 2022.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

The CEO of WestJet Airlines says his company is asking the federal government to allow airlines to recover passenger compensation costs from other industry partners, if they played a role in causing flight delays or disruptions.

Under the current air passenger bill of rights framework, airlines are the only party required to compensate travellers for unnecessary flight cancellations or disruptions.

But WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech says airlines aren’t at fault if a passenger’s flight is held up by a backlog at customs or a breakdown of baggage handling equipment at an airport.

He says compensating passengers every time something goes wrong is costly for airlines and in the long-term will cause airfares to rise.

He says WestJet is asking the government to provide a mechanism for airlines to recover some of these costs from third parties who may be partly liable for disruptions.

The federal government has committed to making changes to this country’s airline passenger bill of rights in the wake of major travel disruptions last summer and again over the Christmas holidays.

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