Government Protects Canadian Air Travellers, Jobs, and Airline Sector

From: Department of Finance Canada

In a country as vast as Canada, it is essential we maintain connections between people and our communities.

To that end, today the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced financial support for Air Canada.

As a condition to receiving this support, Air Canada will ensure that:

  1. Regional communities retain air connections to the rest of Canada through the restart of service at airports temporarily suspended by Air Canada;
  2. Any customer of Air Canada who wants a refund will receive one for certain pandemic-related cancelations;
  3. Airline jobs, pensions, and collective agreements are protected; and
  4. Air Canada remains a customer for Canada’s aerospace sector.

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting people who work in the air sector and Canadian airlines and during this unprecedented and difficult time for the industry. The government is also committed to supporting the gradual return of commercial activity in the aviation sector in Canada in a way that continues to prioritize the health, safety, and security of all Canadians.

Negotiations continue with other Canadian carriers on financial support and any agreement reached in those negotiations will include a requirement that the airline also refund pandemic related-cancelations. In the event that an airline does not need liquidity support from the government, the government remains open to helping all airlines provide voucher refunds to their customers.

This financial support announced today, in the form of repayable loans and an equity investment, will help Air Canada weather the current economic downturn and will protect thousands of Canadian jobs.

Quotes

“From coast to coast to coast, it is essential we maintain connections between people and our communities, large and small. Protecting Canadian customers is important. And maintaining a competitive Canadian air sector, Canadian airlines, and the thousands of good jobs in this sector is a priority. This is what today’s announcement with Air Canada guarantees.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“For our economic recovery and to build back better, we need a strong Canadian air sector that creates good jobs, grows the economy and helps connect communities across Canada. Today’s announcement with Air Canada is another important step in that direction.”

– The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the government has supported the airline sector and other hard-hit sectors through a suite of targeted support measures, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. To date, airline sector workers have received over $2.1 billion in support through the wage subsidy.

  • In addition, in the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the government announced over $1 billion in support for airports and smaller airlines.

  • In the Fall Economic Statement 2020, the government reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring Canadians receive refunds as a condition of financial assistance to major carriers.

  • The air sector, including airlines, supports 235,000 of jobs in communities across Canada.

  • The government’s financial support to Air Canada is being provided under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) is a federal Crown corporation, incorporated in May 2020 and wholly owned by Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), a parent Crown corporation.

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