Ottawa, ON, November 22, 2023 – The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Canada’s largest passenger airlines, today expressed its disappointment that the Fall Economic Statement did not contain specific measures to incentivize the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in Canada.  Although the Statement contained some commitments to support the “clean economy”, the absence of incentives for SAF represents a lost opportunity at a time when other countries are ramping up support for SAF production.  By emitting up to 80% fewer carbon emissions compared to traditional jet fuel, large scale production of SAF is vital for airlines in Canada and around the world to reach their carbon net zero commitments by 2050.

“Federal incentives to support the creation of robust domestic SAF market in Canada are critical if Canada is going to realize the significant economic gains that SAF production could entail.  With Canada’s abundant natural resource advantages, Canada could well be a global leader in SAF production,” noted NACC President Jeff Morrison.  “Airlines have invested billions of dollars in more fuel efficient aircraft and equipment, and have comprehensive plans to reduce their carbon footprint.  However, use of SAF is the biggest single driver of carbon emission reduction – but without federal incentives to produce SAF in Canada, especially compared to the significant production incentives provided in the US, there will be no domestic SAF supply.  Its notable absence from the Fall Economic Statement will continue to put Canada’s airlines and aviation system at a competitive disadvantage, and will make it increasingly difficult for airlines to meet their 2050 net zero commitments.”

The Fall Economic Statement also made the following commitment:  “The government will work with the Canadian Transportation Agency to amend the Air Passenger Protection Regulations to ensure that airlines seat all children under the age of 14 next to their accompanying adult at no extra cost.”   It should be noted that all NACC member airlines already have such a policy in place.

The Fall Economic Statement contained a number of measures designed to address the cost-of-living and affordability crisis Canadians are experiencing.  Canada’s airlines are reminding the Government of Canada that a competitive and robust aviation sector is critical to air travel affordability.

“We know how much Canadians value an accessible and regionally connected air travel sector. Regrettably, regulations proposed by the Canadian Transportation Agency in July 2023 to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) would increase air travel costs, reduce regional connectivity, and penalize safety – and will do nothing to improve air travel in Canada. In the spirit of affordability and competition outlined in today’s economic update, we are again asking the Government to ensure that APPR regulations reflect the growing concerns expressed by airports, airlines, unions, the tourism sector, businesses and others who are deeply concerned by the implications of the proposed July 2023 regulations on air travel connectivity and competition”, added Morrison.

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

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.  It promotes safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Pre-pandemic our members collectively carried over 80 million passengers annually, directly employed over 60,000 people and served as a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector, which supported more than 630,000 jobs.

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