Ottawa, August 20, 2020 – The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC), which represents Canada’s major air carriers (Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet), wrote today to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, congratulating her on her appointment and urgently requesting the development of a sectoral support plan for aviation.  A copy of the letter is available at 

“Our members look forward to working with Minister Freeland in her new responsibilities.  While we would have preferred that our first letter to the Minister did not move immediately to policy requirements, the devastating impact of the pandemic on our industry, and the reality that there is no clear timeframe for when government will allow aviation to move forward, requires us to urgently look at sectoral support for airlines”, said NACC President and CEO Mike McNaney.

Over the past several months NACC members have worked diligently with federal and international aviation authorities to develop and implement global best practices to safely and responsibly re-start commercial aviation.  Based on science-based and risk-based frameworks created by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as well as the federal government’s release of Flight Plan, Canada’s major carriers continue to invest millions of dollars in new procedures and operating practices to protect the health of passengers and employees.  Other jurisdictions globally have begun to safely restart their aviation sectors domestically, and on a targeted basis internationally, based on ICAO’s work and their respective domestic plans.

Canada however has chosen to remain at Stage Zero, and has not agreed to accept targeted international re-opening such as with the European Union, or achieve a consistent approach within Canada concerning quarantine and travel measures for domestic flights.

“Canada’s major carriers impact every sector of the economy, in every region of the country, in communities large and small.  If aviation is to remain at Stage Zero for an indeterminate time period due to government policy, we need to begin work now on measures to sustain the industry.  While the federal government has put forth non-sectoral support programs for all industries, those programs were not designed in the context of a specific industry remaining at Stage Zero, with no indication of when it can methodically re-open” concluded McNaney.

The NACC’s letter includes a series of principles it believes should be followed in developing a sectoral support program, including ensuring assistance does not distort the competitive landscape of the sector, and benchmarking against current programs in the European Union and United States.

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 protected], Telephone: 613.231.7223 ext.104