National Airlines Council Urges Feds To Act On Promise Of Airline Support

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Mike McNaney

According to the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), the strength and role of the Canadian airline industry is under significant threat as Canada risks falling behind other major industrialized countries in supporting their airlines.

The council says that "time is of the essence" as the economic situation facing Canada's airlines deteriorates, because the greater the economic damage to the industry, the less competitive and poised for recovery it will be.

The Canadian government has indicated that some form of support is forthcoming, but no direct financial aid has been announced. 

The NACC stressed that the preservation of a viable, domestic Canadian airline sector is "critical" to the strength of the Canadian economy. 

"Our members and their employees continue to look forward to the government acting quickly to introduce liquidity measures for the industry. This will provide the stability needed for the aviation sector to begin planning with government the policy initiatives needed to drive Canada's eventual economic recovery, in communities and businesses large and small across the nation, across all segments of the economy and internationally," said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada. 

According to the NACC, this is the toll the coronavirus pandemic is taking on the Canadian aviation sector:

  • Some carriers have suspended service to at least 35 regional communities whose local economies depend on the presence of a strong domestic airline industry;
  • There has been an approximate 90% drop in capacity, and the remaining flights are virtually empty;
  • With the vast majority of the fleet grounded, NACC carriers have $10 billion worth of aircraft now sitting idle;
  • Capital projects and work with suppliers across the aviation and aerospace supply chain have been stopped;
  • Revenue has all but disappeared, along with forward bookings for the rest of the year with little, if any, clarity as to when travel restrictions may be lifted or reduced. The economic impact of the pandemic is expected to continue materially for the remainder of the year and into 2021;
  • IATA estimates that global airline industry losses this year will be US$314 billion and disruptions to air travel from COVID-19 could result in a 39.8 million reduction in passenger volumes in Canada;
  • More broadly, the disruptions could also put at risk about 245,500 jobs in Canada and US$18.3 billion in GDP supported by the air transport industry and foreign tourists travelling to Canada by air.

 

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada's largest national and international passenger air carriers: Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet. The council's member airlines collectively support more than 630,000 jobs and are responsible for generating 3.2% of Canada's GDP.

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.

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