Montreal, April 13 2021: A financial aid plan is set to be announced by Air Canada in collaboration with the Canadian government. The plan is designed to rescue the largest airline in the country after the pandemic wrecked the industry.
The airline will have access to 5.9 billion Canadian dollars. In a statement, the transport minister, Omar Alghabra said, “We have reached a significant and historic agreement with Air Canada.”
The loan is conditional upon Air Canada agreeing to several conditions such as reimbursing customers whose tickets got cancelled during the pandemic. The airline has also agreed to resume regional routes and restrictions on executive compensation. The airline has also pledged not to cut any more jobs from the 15000 people they employ currently. The Airline had earlier had to lay off 20,000 at the start of pandemic. Air Canada has suffered a Can$4.6 billion loss, marked by a 73 percent drop in passenger numbers due to Covid-19.
According to Deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland, it is a “good and fair deal,” saying that airlines are a strategic sector that generate jobs for the country’s middle class.
Other airlines including WestJet are also in discussion with the government. Trade unions have hailed the decision. Canada’s air travel industry has been calling for a federal aid plan since last spring.
Ottawa had until now refused aid targeted for the airline sector, insisting first that companies reimburse clients whose flights have been canceled since the start of the pandemic and resume abandoned domestic routes.
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