Ottawa, December 11, 2020 – The National Airlines Council of Canada, representing Canada’s largest air carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), welcomed today’s report by the Industry Strategy Council, an economic advisory group created by the federal government, that recommends a wide series of measures to re-start Canada’s economy including the aviation sector.

Noting that the pandemic has caused a ”catastrophic decrease” in air travel, the Report argues that aviation and aerospace are in “urgent need of targeted assistance to avoid collapse”, and that the current crisis is placing the entire system at risk.  The Report argues for action on key policy areas including providing liquidity, rapid testing, reduced quarantine measures, and selective re-opening of borders with low-risk countries.

“We strongly support the recommendations provided by the Council.  We are now fighting to not only protect the ability of the industry to recover, but to ensure irreparable damage is not done to the sector,” said Mike McNaney, President and CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada.

If the government does not act, the Report warns that consumers will see reduced services, higher prices, diminished competition and a loss of connectivity.  According to McNaney, “Canadian connectivity has decreased substantially over the past few months, as flights have been significantly reduced or eliminated across every region as carriers try to preserve liquidity and some semblance of operation.  Our members have spent years and invested billions of dollars building regional and international networks to create the level of connectivity needed to support Canada’s economy.  That investment and the tens of thousands of direct jobs it entails are being systematically eroded.”

In its submission to the Council the NACC outlined the unprecedented destructive impact of the pandemic on aviation, and the need for government action to ensure aviation is able to play the critical role it must play in Canada’s overall economic recovery.  The recommendations put forth today are in strong alignment with policy action that has been undertaken by countries around the world.

The NACC will continue its engagement with the federal government, in conjunction with our airport partners, on the need to move forward with further support for the sector, recognizing the strategic significance of aviation to Canada’s overall economy, as clearly outlined by the Industry Strategy Council and its substantive study.

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 and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.  Collectively, its member airlines carry over 80 million passengers annually, directly employ over 60,000 people and are a critical component of Canada’s overall air transport and tourism sector which supports more than 630,000 jobs.

For media requests, please contact Francesca Iacurto, Senior Director, Public Affairs, National Airlines Council of Canada; Email; Telephone: 613.231.7223 ext. 104.