Canada’s airlines respond to announcement by Minister Alghabra of additional funding to the Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, ON, March 14, 2023 – Jeff Morrison, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Canada’s largest air carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Government of Canada of additional funding for the Canadian Transportation Agency:
“Today’s announcement by Minister Alghabra is a welcome first step in the right direction to clear the current backlog of claims and ensure that similar backlogs are not allowed to happen in the future. However, the only long-term solution is permanent policy improvements to ensure that the entire air travel ecosystem is properly funded so it works effectively and to hold all participants accountable so Canadian air travelers can have confidence that their journey is predictable and timely. That means having clear service standards across the entire aviation system, rather than airlines being the only stakeholder subject to enforceable standards.
“The upcoming Federal Budget on March 28 is this Government’s opportunity to demonstrate that it is willing to make the investments needed to make things better for travellers. We have now seen two parliamentary committee reports calling for the government to invest in the human resources, technology, and infrastructure upgrades that are needed.
“The time has come for the government to act. The current environment of high taxes, rent, and user fees imposed on the airline industry have resulted in the aviation ecosystem needing to take on increased debt, particularly during the pandemic. Not only has this increased fare costs for passengers; it has also led to the deferral of critical investments in infrastructure at our airports — the kind of upgrades that can help keep flights running on time during extreme weather events, or high volumes of traffic, to name a few examples.
“Canadians recognize that the drivers of flight disruptions lie outside the control of airlines; extending shared accountability to security lines, customs lines, airports and air navigation will enhance accountability and transparency for travellers when unforeseen circumstances occur. NACC is also recommending that the federal government adopt quantitative metrics and benchmarks for addressing service delivery issues, which should be made public. Canada’s airlines will continue to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada towards the goal of positive policy changes that make a real difference for air passengers.”
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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