AC & TS Lobby Quebec Gov’t For Help In Weathering COVID

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Air Canada and Transat are banking on a boost from the Quebec government in order to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both companies have modified their registration in the province's Registre des lobbyistes du Quebec (The Lobbyists Registry of Quebec) in order to request the adoption of “tax measures to promote the retention of workers in employment.”

Air Canada and Transat did not comment early Monday afternoon about the changes made to their entry in the register, which are in effect until the end of the year, says CP.

AC and TS also wish to examine the modification and cancellation policies of travel agencies, “notably in the administration of the Compensation Fund for Clients of Travel Agencies (Fonds d’indemnisation des clients des agents de voyages - FICAV),” which is administered by the Office of Consumer Protection (Office de la protection du consommateur), reports TheCanadianPress.

Canadian airlines have been the target of criticism in issuing travel vouchers rather than refunds for canceled flights, In Quebec, a traveller can usually benefit from the compensation fund when purchasing services through a travel agency licensed by FICAV. According to La Presse, on its website, the OPC indicated in a publication dated April 9, that "discussions" were underway with "various interlocutors on the whole issue of travel credits".

The Quebec daily notes that the OPC did not provide further details about the ongoing discussions, however, mentions that the total requests for "past or future trips" surrounding COVID-19 were approximately 12,760.

Given that the pandemic constitutes an "unprecedented" situation, the Agency added that the situation will have to be closely monitored to "determine whether the sums available to the FICAV will be sufficient to compensate all clients of Quebec travel agents and if not, what the options will be”.

The Canadian aviation sector has not yet received any direct aid or bailouts from the federal government. However, carriers, like other companies, were able to tap into the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which subsidizes 75% of employees' normal hourly wages.

Both Air Canada and Transat have made use of this program, with AC rehiring approximately 16,500 employees who were previously laid off, and TS rehiring 4,000.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Richard - April 28, 2020 @ 12:44
Why would the Cdn Govt give the airlines any additional aid, especially since the govt is really paying the airline employee wages and plus the airlines are giving future credits instead of refunds....

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