Transport Canada To Review AC/TS Deal And It Could Be A Long Process

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has determined that the Air Canada/Transat transaction raises public interest issues related to national transportation. 

Transport Canada says the public interest assessment will include targeted consultations with the air industry and other stakeholders, other levels of government and the public, as well as an analysis of the economic benefits or challenges resulting from the proposed transaction. 

Under the Canada Transportation Act, Transport Canada has up to 150 days to complete this public interest assessment. However, the Minister has the authority to grant an extension should extra time be necessary. 

“Considering the size and scope of the proposed transaction, an extra 100 days has been granted to both Transport Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, to ensure sufficient time for thorough analysis and assessment,” a statement reads.

With the additional time, Transport Canada now has 250 days (until 2MAY, 2020) to complete the public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The Minister would then provide a recommendation to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) concerning the proposed purchase. 

When will that take place? It’s unclear. Transport Canada states: “There is no legislated timeline for the Minister to make his recommendation or for the Governor in Council to make a final decision.”

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.