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Canada ranks among the world’s priciest places to fly from: index

A WestJet Boeing 737 (737-600) airliner takes off from Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, B.C., April 27, 2016. In the background an Air Canada rouge Boeing 767 (767-300ER) taxies along the tarmac. Bayne Stanley/The Canadian Press

Hoping to fly out of Canada this summer? You’ll be paying more than passengers flying from most other countries around the world.

That’s the conclusion to be drawn from Kiwi.com‘s 2017 Flight Price Index, which ranks Canada as the 65th-cheapest country out of 80 nations when it comes to the cost of flying per 100 kilometres.

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The average cost to fly from Canada per 100 kilometres was $23.90, climbing five places from the 2016 rankings.

Canada ranked in 77th place, however, when it came to the cost of full-service long-haul or international flights. That came in at an average cost of $35.93.

READ MORE: International flights from Canada are the most expensive in the world: report

The website drew up its rankings by looking at the costs of over a million flights to derive an average price for short-haul and long-haul trips in 80 of the world’s most-visited cities and countries.

Average costs for short-haul (or domestic) flights were derived by looking at the cost to fly from a country’s capital to five major cities within its borders, or else a major city in a nearby country that was “no more than 1,000 kilometres away.”

Air Canada and WestJet planes. Credit/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Tae Oum, a professor emeritus at UBC’s Sauder School of Business who focuses on international air transportation, agreed with Kiwi.com’s assessment that Canada ranks among the most expensive countries to fly out of.

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One of the reasons for this is that Canada has a limited number of Open Skies Agreements with other countries.

Canada has agreements with 18 countries, while the U.S. has them with more than 120 countries, Oum told Global News.

READ MORE: Ottawa introduces new security measures for some Canada-bound flights

These agreements lift any limits on airlines that are allowed to operate within a country, as well as on the frequency of service or types of aircraft, according to Transport Canada.

The lack of agreements is just one factor that can lead to higher flight prices, Oum said. And it’s also a reason why a number of Canadians choose to fly out of the U.S. — and why international travellers choose the same path.

“We lose out in a very bad way,” he told Global News.

Signs at Vancouver airport. Global News

Kiwi.com’s index came after air fares for domestic and international travel averaged $244.50 in the third quarter of 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

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That was up from $216.80 in the second quarter last year, which was the lowest they were going back to 2007.

Those figures accounted for business class, economy and discounted fares.

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